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Hunger stalks areas that experienced famine recently in South Sudan

By Chondok Stephen Magei

In 2017, famine struck in the counties of Leer and Mayendit in Unity State, affecting 100, 000 people.

The area then was part of the region worst affected by the conflict that befell South Sudan.

People, farms and livestock were pounded mercilessly by warring parties then, causing the famine which was mitigated by sustained food assistances.

Now residents of Gandoor Payam, Padeah, Adok in both Leer and Mayiandit as well as Koch counties are raising concern over dire food shortages.

Floods cut off roads to the Southern part of Unity and denying the three counties rendering humanitarian aid inaccessible.

With the food shortages, prices have shot up and very scarce, according a resident in Gandoor Payam, Nyadiang Gai Ruot.

“We are calling upon humanitarian food agencies to access our situation and rescue us from starvation. Our children are suffering from hunger and its very difficult to buy a small sack of sorghum with 20,000 south Sudanese pounds,” Ruot told Juba Echo.

“Only those who are working can buy sorghum with that huge amount of money.”

Echoing Ruot, the Director for Koch County Relief and Rehabilitation Commission, Ruot Riak Teny said the situation is dire.

“There is food crisis in Koch County, even its very difficult to buy food from the market,” Teny told Juba Echo.

“I have received a call from NRC team from Juba and some of the teams have arrived in Koch and I will discuss with them about air drop because main road to Bentiu is not accessible.”

A 100 kilogram sack of sorghum in both Koch and Mayiandit cost 35, 000 South Sudanese pounds.

The areas were totally cut off last year although humanitarian agencies are mulling air drops of food this month as flood waters subside.

Mayendit, Leer and Koch are among Counties people are returning back to after the floods uprooted them last year.

But in a village like Gandoor in Leer, those who returned found their homes and farms destroyed and are faced with lack of food and health services as aid agencies can’t access the area.

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