Abyei women produce soap locally for the first time

Newly trained women display their products in a hall in Abyei Town on 22/03/2021 | Credit: Mayen Ayuong | AIRS

Women in Abyei have launched their first laundry products after undergoing training on soap making attending two weeks training on soap making. The first batch is 800 liters of liquid soap and 15 bars of soap.

The group of 12 people who included 10 women were given soap making skills by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) as part of empowering women in the area. They were graduated on 22nd March 2021.

The Deputy chairman of Abyei Women’s Association, Amal Abdallah hopes the production of soap locally will improve women’s economic status in the region.

“At the same time, these ten women who were trained their economic would be better, because the more they produce the more they get benefit. Whether it was bar soap or liquid soap, for instance you produce a jerrycan of liquid soap and you take it to market. A bottle of liquid soap is for 300 SSP and our bottle can double the one which is available in the market now,” Amal said.
According to Amal, the availability of the local brand would lower the prices of imported soap.

“We expect that producing this local soap would have an impact. If these women work seriously and take their products to the market. This will make the soap available, and cheaper even,” she stated.

Aya Ajak Deng, a mother in Abyei Town confidently explained the how they can put together to produce soap.

“We in this training learnt how to produce soap. We use chemicals to produce liquid soap. We mix these to manufacture soap. I learnt making soap in 11 days. And I have also known how to make bar soap. The ingredients for solid soap are water, oil and salt. Out of these items, I can make soap,” she explained.

Kat Aguek Aguek, a 28-year-old man living in Abyei Town said he was grateful of the new skill he acquired from IOM.

“I wish this training continues and we will train others. This is something very good. If I was the matter was in my hands, I see we are to train people in Aniet and in the remaining villages, so the benefit is for all,” he said

Mombe Joseph, who works for IOM as livelihood focal point says IOM will continue supporting the group.

“These are women you know they are vulnerable they do not have capital. So, if you give skill alone, what else after the skill? They just go home and keep the skill at home, then they cannot do anything with it,” So, what we are going to do as IOM is come up with small package …. Like a startup kit, all the items that are needed for soap making. We have to sit down and with them and develop a business proposal. Then we procure those items, so that they start their business and continue their activity,” he said.

IOM has been training people on livelihood skill in Abyei Administrative Area for years.