Looming hunger strikes Eastern Equatoria

By Adia Jildo

Communities in Eastern Equatoria have raised alarm over looming worst hunger indicators as no harvest were met in the first season due to shortage of rain, which scorched the seeds in the farm hence other people resorted to eating their remaining seeds.

Isaac Vuchiri a pastor in Moli Tokuro said it had only rained four times in the first season which left most of the seeds they had planted to dry up (wither).

He said there had been no harvest ever for the whole of this cultivation season leading to the looming hunger in the villages.

“There was only four times since it rained. It was since March till July. We go up to Kerepi to farm and it’s not raining regularly,” he noted.

Isaac said most people in the community depend on the sale of charcoal to purchase food staffs that their families can survive on.

“We buy a 10 kg of flour at 7,000SSP. The hunger here is too much. Next year will be terrible, there will be starvation because there is no food, the harvest is unknown since before we could farm more than once but this year is different,” Vuchiri underlined.

He however called on the government to provide security and stability for refugees to return home and farm as this would reduce dependence on food aid and fight hunger.

Magret Oliver, the paramount Chief of Moli Tokuro said most families are returnees who came with the aim of farming yet their season has been a bad one.

“It’s hunger now disturbing people. We started to plant our crops the second season but again pests have fallen on them beside even the groundnuts got burnt,” she expressed.

She noted that the first season was a waste of seeds as most of it got rotten since it had not been raining.

“We don’t have any maize here. The hunger that strikes us has already been felt,” she said.

She further revealed that most of the households are depending on sales of firewood and charcoal in order to buy food staffs from the neighboring communities or imported food commodities.

Margret expressed worry that the delay in the rain might be due to the over consumption of firewood for charcoal as a way of getting money.

She urged the government to provide tractors to the agricultural cooperative societies for wide scale farming to put a positive change on food security citing previous experience of a tractor which was given to the government in Moli which did not benefit them and up to date was not seen by the community.

Christine Kiden a mother of 10 in Moli who sells firewood for survival said her children on some days have been sleeping hungry.

“This hunger is hard on us these days. It has taken longer as we did not harvest anything. We depended on the farm products for survival,” she cried.

Christine said her children would sleep hungry whenever she did not make sales of her firewood.

About 765 people have reportedly returned to Moli simultaneously early this year to settle at their homelands to farm.

The paramount chief of Magwi County Aldo Ojara said the situation is disheartening as most commodities prices are skyrocketing in the market and most families are not able to reach the standards to survive in.

“It’s really hard for most families especially those who dwelled on their farm products. There was no rain for long. The rain could not support the crops to grow because it only rained a few times,” he said.

He added that families are in dire need of food assistance as most could not afford to buy food products due to inflation.

In early March, WFP had warned of hunger in South Sudan citing its withdrawal to support hungry South Sudanese due to budget constraints and hence leaving many to suffer unprecedented hunger due to food insecurity forced by conflicts, climate change and inflation in the market.

Comments are closed.