Columnists, Gadgets

South Sudan remains reliant on imported food, exposing its citizens to toxic substances.

Last year, on May 15, 2023, 62 trucks were apprehended at the Nimule Border carrying toxic maize flour. This poses significant health risks, including diseases like cancer.

The country’s inability to address severe hunger leaves it vulnerable to such food-related dangers, with no end in sight.

Toxicity from poisons found in food, air, and water can have adverse effects on producers, ranging from mild symptoms like headaches and nausea to severe symptoms like coma, convulsions, and even death. Harmful exposure is linked to various forms of cancer, developmental abnormalities, lung diseases, diabetes, and learning disabilities, posing serious threats to public health.

South Sudan’s consumption habits are unsafe. The incident involving the toxic maize flour seized by the National Bureau of Standards last year is just one example. Imported food products, including cooking oil, prematurely harvested fruits, and others, present significant risks to the health of South Sudanese nationals. This situation arises due to the country’s overreliance on oil revenue, neglecting the development of the agricultural sector. Consequently, the country grapples with severe hunger without the means to combat it effectively.

The delayed implementation of peace agreements has further exacerbated the hunger crisis. Insecurity in various regions hinders agricultural activities, leaving citizens afraid to engage in farming. The prevailing mindset is one of uncertainty, with people unsure of what the future holds. Unfortunately, some leaders view conflict as advantageous, perpetuating the neglect of the agricultural sector. This raises questions about how long the country can sustain its dependence on imported food and when stable security conditions will prevail in areas suitable for agriculture. South Sudan possesses vast untapped land that could produce sufficient food, but access to it and proper transportation infrastructure remain significant challenges.

While the government works towards stabilizing security across the nation, the National Bureau of Standards must continue its responsibility of safeguarding citizens from toxic food. Stringent examinations should be conducted on food items before they enter the country, prioritizing the well-being of the population.

The government has a duty to protect its citizens, as exporting countries may not prioritize public health when supplying goods to South Sudan.

The Ministry of Agriculture must make concerted efforts to combat hunger in the country. This department plays a vital role in ensuring the health of agricultural resources and the environment, contributing to the country’s economic growth.

May God bless South Sudan

Be right there!





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