Yei residents facing severe hunger as prices skyrocket.  

By James Innocent

Hunger is biting hard on the people of Yei River County as thousands return home from the neighboring countries, only to face aggravated food insecurity.

Citizens in Yei link the scenario to armed cattle herders who destroyed many farm lands in the southwestern part of the Equatoria region.

 Lainya, Kajo-Keji, and Yei River Counties have been affected by the activities of the armed herders which forced hundreds out from their homes.

Many residents say they still have the fear to return back to their home lands to practice agriculture which is the main sources of income.

A civil society activist based in Yei River County, Dara Felix said hunger is looming seriously in the town.

The UN recently announced a ratio cut for South Sudanese refugees in Uganda as it no longer have the funds to feed all of them.

Activist Dara said the ratio cut is forcing many refugees to return to their places of origin.

 “My concern is that hunger is looming seriously as many returnees are coming from Uganda in the refugee camps because their food ratio is going to be cut-off by the end of this month May 2023 making them returning back home and the Sudanese citizens are also coming to South Sudan so we need to pay serious attention to these serious security threat.”

He also urged cattle keepers marauding farmlands in the County and some other neighboring counties to give farmers the chance to cultivate to boost food production in the country.

“And am advising politely our brothers who are cattle herders to go back to their places of origin to leave chance to the farmers so that we fight hunger and we know that meat is always eaten with food but let us fight the looming hunger in our country as a national security thread and we need to really cooperate with the spirit of brotherhood so that we cultivate” he said.

Meanwhile Asunta Wasuk a resident of Hai Simba in Yei town decry high price in the market exacerbating hunger to the poor citizens.

she said “nowadays 50 SSP, 100SSP and 500 SSP lost value in the market only one thousand pounds and above can at least buy something in the market because the prices of commodities have gone higher in the market and our children are sleeping hungry eating row mango to survive”

She blamed the cattle that destroyed crops fueling the hunger crisis.

“we cultivated very well but citizens are living their stray animals to destroy farms and am urging the county and country leaders to come up with a law that protect agriculture and animals in our communities just because the village chiefs fear to control the domestic animals moving in the community without country whenever a chief raises concern about animals the owners remove out guns making them to fear”.

For her part a trader only identified as Dusman operating in Dar-salaam Market urged the government to work for sustainable peace and security in the country to alleviate the suffering of the citizens.

“Let the government work on peace and providing security to farmers so that hunger cannot kill the people of South Sudan and currently in Yei the number of returnees are seriously increasing in the community looking at the high demand of food and there is no money.”

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