An interview with Diko Amariah

15 February 2018
Humanitarian Cargo Transportation in South Sudan

Humanitarian Cargo Transportation in South Sudan

Diko Amariah Khor is the Business Support Assistant for the Logistics Cluster based in Rumbek, South Sudan.

What exactly do you do and how long have you been doing it?

I assist in logistics operations in the field. This involves supporting the movement of relief cargo, belonging to several humanitarian organisations, to the warehouse and then from the warehouse to the airport for dispatch to final destinations. I have been doing this for the last eight months since I joined the WFP-led Logistics Cluster.

What have you been doing recently? What’s planned next?

I’ve been deeply involved in my job. The fact that I was recently recruited means there’s a lot more for me to learn and experience in the field. I am really enjoying my new job as I have always wanted to be part of a team that creates a big impact in improving the lives of people in need of humanitarian assistance. Before this, I was working for an airline company that’s contracted to fly UNHAS: there I participated in different flight dispatches for various aircraft ranging from single to twin engines supporting both passenger and cargo flights. My plan is to develop my career in the field of humanitarian logistics. By working hard and overcoming challenges, I hope to move into positions of greater responsibility and keep learning and developing my skills, and hence my career.

Humanitarian Logistics in South Sudan

What does a normal day in the field look like for you?

By 7 am, I am already in the office assisting in flight operations, preparing the necessary paperwork for the flights. I head to the airport for dispatch as well as to continuously communicate with our partners on the ground, supervise the loading of cargo prior to take-off, and provide constant and timely notification to the consignees, and send out the daily reports to the WFP Country Office.

What are the main challenges you face in your work and how do you overcome them?

There are various operational challenges: delayed weather reports and security updates, bad weather, and poor roads for trucks during cargo transport to the field locations. All these lead to flight delays and sometimes cancellations, creating a backlog of Non-Food Items in the warehouses. For weather and security updates we always try to establish contacts with our focal points on the ground or other agencies.

How do you motivate the people you work with?

People always find it interesting when they see me as the only lady on the airport ramp and doing the same tasks as my male colleagues. I have always challenged myself – I like doing something that people may not find appropriate because of the myths and cultural beliefs surrounding it. Some people say, “women cannot do this and that,” which eventually holds women back. I always work hard, am committed to my work, appreciate my colleagues and value positive criticism that helps me improve in my work.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

The most rewarding part of my job is its impact on the lives of those in need in my community as well as worldwide. It is rewarding to be a part of the team that performs a great role in transforming the lives of people in so much need of humanitarian assistance. I feel delighted when our partners receive their cargo with no complaints – this helps to save time and also lets us concentrate on other responses as we are an emergency response operation.

How do you define success and what is the secret of your success?

In my understanding, success is when you meet your goals, live a happy life, contented and healthy. My secret of success is being focused, hardworking and also helping those around me to achieve their goals as well. Above all, patience is key in the road to success – one cannot achieve great things in the blink of an eye, but one step at a time.