Behind the scenes in South Sudan #3 – Eresto Taban
Active since 2011, the Logistics Cluster supported over 200 organisations in 2019 in South Sudan, making it the biggest operation in terms of partner support that year. The country also represents one of the most logistically challenging environments for humanitarian workers. Can you imagine how complex it is to deliver humanitarian aid to populations in a country with very few paved roads or tarmac airstrips?
To provide logistics common services to the humanitarian community in country, the cluster operates with seven hubs strategically located to ensure the most efficient response: Bentiu, Bor, Juba, Malakal, Rumbek, Wau and Yei.
Today, we meet Eresto from Rumbek to understand what it takes to work in one of the Logistics Cluster hubs in South Sudan.
Eresto Taban, Logistics Associate
Eresto always knew he would be a logistician. While still in school, he was helping his brother who owned a few trucks to start his own logistics company. A few years after, Eresto worked for several national health NGOs in Logistics, Supply Chain and Procurement which enabled him to collaborate with the Logistics Cluster as a service user. Eager to move up the ladder and advance in his career, Eresto decided to apply for the Logistics Associate position in 2017. “When you work for the Logistics Cluster, people get to know you a lot because you are constantly working with partners,” says Eresto. “It allows you to increase your network, collaborations and even friendships by working closely with a lot of actors.”
Eresto tells us that the dedicated and committed environment he found in the Logistics Cluster is what motivates him daily, enabling him to shoulder important responsibilities and perform well in his job. “I have no doubt that hard work is what makes us progress in our work and with the Logistics Cluster you have to work very hard every day to make sure your tasks are completed by the time you go home.” Similarly to his colleagues Ayangi and Laki, another aspect that Eresto values in his work with the Logistics Cluster is coordination. “I enjoy working with partners because it forces us to push each other to achieve great work and it is also a nice way to keep bringing new ideas and thinking to our way of doing things!”, he clarifies.
During his time with the Logistics Cluster, there was one day that stood out for Eresto: “The most representative day of my work in Rumbek is when we had to transport ambulances to Ganyiel, a key location for the humanitarian response in Unity State. Special cargo needs special authorizations!” he explains. “Together with the team we had to visit various government offices. Dispatching humanitarian cargo sometimes requires a lot of follow-up and even if you have all the clearances it still requires a lot of preparations to send some special cargo. However, there is nothing more satisfying than watching the fixed wing airplane taking off with essential cargo that we loaded together as a team and that we know will help the Logistics Cluster partners!”
To learn more about the Logistics Cluster's South Sudan operation, visit our dedicated operation page here.