OpEd, Politics

We prayed for a better 2024, is this the answer to our prayer?

We suffered a great deal in 2023, encountering all the versions of hunger, from a mere starvation to food shortage and from food shortage to famine. Maybe this year, nobody knows famine may get promoted to the rank of foodlessness.

If you have survived the hunger of 2023, place your hand on your chest and say I’m a hero. If you are a woman, say I’m a heroine. Whoever survives an imposed hunger is not only a hero/heroine, but a hero/heroine plus. We deserve authenticated certificates of survival.

When 2024 clocked, we took courage, gained some strength and raised our fleshless arms and said, may 2024 be a year of change. Not all of us said “Amen” because some, including me, had their throats filled with anger.

On the first day of 2024, we counted ourselves to identify those who have been eaten by hunger, and unfortunately, we found a half of us are missing. When we glanced at the report, it says a thousand-plus people have their houses relocated to the cemetery by hunger. We tried crying, but not even a single drop of tears came out. We are too dehydrated. Too emaciated, furthermore!

We have lost the flesh and fluids in our bodies. If you happen to see us naked, you will never see anyone naked for the rest of your life. We are more of bones than flesh. From afar, you cannot differentiate a man from a woman. In front of us, you can only differentiate us by our clothes. You can know in your heart that the one in a skirt is a woman and that one in trousers is a man. Around us, we have eaten everything, including shrub leaves.

What is more painful in the history of hunger is the fact that you sleep with an empty stomach day in, day out and your neighbour slaughters a goat day in, day out and no child comes to tell you that I have been sent to tell you to come to our house.

You always think that your neighbour must be the one who works hard to match you with a giant hunger that has never been wrestled down for a good number of years now. Sometimes, your neighbour, who is, of course, the one governmentally entrusted to feed you, comes to you one day as if coming to tell you good news, but unfortunately, is coming to check on you whether you are gone or still breathing. Even if you are still breathing, this devilish check can stop your respiratory system from functioning.

Not me alone, all the citizens have suffered greatly from hunger that no one attempts to eradicate. The government, the UN SDG Zero Hunger, the Action Against Hunger, the FAO, the WFP and even the individuals in the forefront fighting to eradicate hunger had their efforts gone in vain.

Hunger used to be of one type then, but today, there are so many types of hunger. Of all the types, political hunger remains the deadliest hunger ever recorded in the history of imposed hunger. We are wrestling with a political hunger.

I’m hungry myself. My neighbour is hungry. My neighbour’s neighbour is hungry too. My best friend in Bahr El Ghazal region is hungry. My dearest friend from Equatoria region is hungry and my one and only friend from Upper Nile region is hungry as well. What does this tell the world? It tells the world that the whole South Sudan is engulfed by hunger.

Thanks for reading “Sowing The Seed Of Truth”.

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