South Sudan Team Bios: Daniel Omondi Obiero- Country Director

Meet Daniel Obiero, our Country Director in South Sudan.

daniel obiero

Daniel Omondi Obiero, BS, Country Director

Nationality: Kenyan

Date of Birth: 2/26/1980

Marital Status: Married with 2 children

Languages: English, Swahili

Daniel is an International Health professional with expertise in implementing and managing public health programs. He has held a number of assignments both locally and internationally, including MERCY USA, UNICEF/MOH and International Rescue Committee (IRC). As the Country Director, he plays an instrumental role in providing overall leadership, strategic direction and operational management and coordination of In-country programs. He holds a Bachelor of Science from Maseno University-Kenya. He Joined KHI in November 2012 as an Emergency Nutrition Manager up to December 2013, Promoted to the post of Country Program director in January 2014 a post he held up to July 2014 after which he was named the Country Director in August 2014.

Hobbies and Interests

Sports-  Watches Soccer and Athletics

Music-  Listens to Country & Gospel Music and Watching Movies.

Reading- Mainly on Community Development and Research Analysis on public health based materials.

Catching up- On Local and International Affairs and participating in Debating and Rational Thought Circles.

Social affairs- Enjoys traveling and making new friends.



South Sudan Team Bios: Joseph Ogolla Ogani- Nutrition Program Manager

Meet Joseph Ogani, our Nutrition Program Manager in South Sudan.

joseph ogani

Joseph Ogolla Ogani, B.Sc. (FOND), MPH

Nutrition Program Manager

Areas of Expertise: Nutrition, Public Health

Joseph, a Kenyan by birth, graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Foods, Nutrition and Dietetics (B.Sc. FOND) from Egerton University in 2007. After his first degree, he worked for Nakumatt Holdings Ltd in Nairobi from 2007 to 2009 as a Marketing Representative and later as Internal Auditor. He received his first job in the humanitarian sector with Food for the Hungry International (FHI) Kenya as Nutrition Officer from 2009 to 2010 then moved to work in South Sudan as a Nutrition Coordinator at Medical Emergency Relief International (MERLIN).  He has over 5 years of experience in implementing Emergency Nutrition (EN) programs in challenging resource-stricken environments. Through his outstanding interpersonal skills, he has demonstrated adaptability and expertise in working with people from different cultural backgrounds.

In 2012, Joseph proceeded for post graduate studies in Public Health at the James P Grant School of Public Health of BRAC University in Bangladesh after which he joined Kissito Healthcare International (KHI) South Sudan program as Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Officer then currently as Nutrition Program Manager.

Joseph is affiliated to the Kenya Nutritionists and Dieticians Institute (KNDI) and the Public Health workforce, Worldwide. He speaks English and Swahili and is learning Arabic. During his free time, he enjoys reading motivational books and swimming.

The Journey To and Out Of Pibor – The South Sudan Crisis

Kissito South SudanThe day started as usual on Friday December 13, 2013 after a week-long SAM and MAM training in Bor-The capital town of Jonglei state. There was a lot of excitement from every member of the team as one could easily notice it with wide smiles and early packing of our baggage. Personally I (Herbert Mayemba-CMAM NURSE) was full of joy as it was my first field assignment just after college and off to Pibor that Friday morning.
As we landed in Pibor that same day, one could be welcomed by the hostile hot climate and the community was eagerly asking my colleagues if we were going to supply them with nutrition items. We indeed didn’t even spend a minute in our compound and set off to our under the tree distribution centre.
I was humbled to be part of the team that day as I truly witnessed the suffering of the people. One could easily notice that people are facing all sorts of problems ranging from psychological, social and economic. Starvation is smelt on almost every individual you talk to, but especially pregnant women and children below 5 years.
At the end of the day, we managed to distribute two weeks plumpy nut and plumpy sup to the OTP and TSFP clients respectfully. The weekend was fast approaching but we were prepared as well to give suppliers that would take them through seasonal celebrations till the December 19, 2013.
Unfortunately war broke out on December 15, 2013 in Juba and spread rapidly to other towns in S. Sudan. As for Pibor specifically, the tension was high too and actually one security officer with UNMISS briefed us about the status quo on December 16, 2013 at 10AM. In the security meeting we were advised not go out of the compound and also informed that incase the security worsens, we should transfer to the UNMISS compound.
On the Tuesday 17, 2013 the situation seemed calm during day time but things turned worse at around 9PM as shooting broke out from the back yard of our compound. One would see bullets flying at the knee level and we had to crawl on our bellies for our dear lives. We had to jump over UNMISS compound fence as the entrance was far and so open that enemy could easily see us.
As we waited for the situation to get to normal, the status quo seemingly became unpredictable and life became very hard. There were no flights to evacuate us, markets closed, the communication was down and the cost leaving sky rocketed. Actually at one moment our colleague claimed that he had friends within the rebel ranks and told him that they will give us passage out of the war zone.
After so many days of struggling, communication was restored and I communicated to the Juba KHI office and HQ through Ms Bell Jennifer we were finally evacuated on the Friday 20, 2013.
Generally life was so hard to copy up with but there are no regrets at all as those people in the community needed our presence the more and I am ( Herbert Mayemba) willing to take risks just to give them hope.

Conflict in South Sudan Creates Difficulties for Kissito

Kissito’s operations in East Africa have been a success, saving many lives in Somalia, Uganda, and Ethiopia. However, it has been extremely difficult to engage services in South Sudan due to the ongoing conflicts. Tribal disputes and raids constantly threaten the lives of many innocent families, and there is continuous tension with the neighboring (recently divided) north state. Shortly after arrival to begin operations in Pibor, Kissito was forced to evacuate.  Staff is still waiting for tensions to wind down peacefully enough return to the region.

Kissito’s project was accepted into the consolidated appeal of the United Nations Office of Coordinated Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) to provide lifesaving emergency nutrition services and local healthcare capacity strengthening for malnourished mothers and children in the state Jonglei of South Sudan.

The project is being funded jointly by UNOCHA and Plan International. In collaboration with Plan International, KHI initiatives include:

  • Performing rapid assessmentsSouth Sudan Juba Office
  • Establishing stabilization centers for mothers and children
  • Establishing outpatient therapeutic programs
  • Providing supplementary feeding programs
  • Providing community outreach and education
  • Building capacity of local health workers
  • Improving health management information systems
  • Coordinating with local partners and government health services

In the meantime, Kissito is working hard to develop some kind of model that will harness community peace. A successful model will be easily duplicated in multiple locations. UGANDA ONE  is a pilot program being implemented in Uganda that incorporates health, the environment, and community needs in parallel with Kissito’s mission: “The betterment and care of human life.”  As of now, a local church in Yei has donated 1 square mile of land for Kissito’s use. This land can be used to cultivate biomass for alternate energy production. 1 square mile is not enough to support an entire nation, but 1 square mile CAN be the beginning of a movement toward peaceful communities all over the region.