Sudan Bulletin No. 105: 19 - 25 Sep 1999
The Nuba Mountains Inter-agency Needs Assessment mission continued its work in several locations in Heiban and Nogorban counties. The Mission's initial progress was hampered by heavy rains. On 24 September, Mission members reported hearing several explosions in Delabaya, close to the area where they were conducting assessments. The UN formally notified the Government of Sudan and the SPLM of the security incident and concerns of the UN mission, emphasising the importance of a ceasefire in the Nuba Mountains during the assessments.
The OLS Annual Needs Assessments (ANA) commenced in the northern sector during the reporting period. Assessment teams held meetings with local authorities in Unity State, and started surveys in Kassala and Gogrial, in Bahr el Ghazal.
The Juba barge convoy is currently in Malakal awaiting advice on the security situation further upstream. The convoy halted at Malakal due to concerns regarding insecurity in several locations in Unity State.
44,161 beneficiaries in the northern sector received 919 MT of relief food. The beneficiaries included IDPs in Khartoum, Kassala and Wau and vulnerable persons in Upper Nile, White Nile and Equatoria regions.
During the reporting period, a total of 188,415 targeted beneficiaries received WFP relief food in nine locations across south Sudan.
Preliminary findings from ANA exercises in Aweil East County, Bahr el Ghazal point to an upcoming food deficit for around 40-50% of the population of the area. Initial findings from a recently completed ANA assessment for Toposaland, Kapoeta County, in Eastern Equatoria reveal a poor food security situation for all socio-economic groups in the area following the third consecutive year of low rainfall.
2.1 Northern Sector
Bahr el Ghazal
Wau: 17,352 beneficiaries received 282 MT of WFP food this week. The beneficiaries included IDPs and primary school pupils. They comprised 9,837 women and 7,515 men.
Juba: During the reporting period, WFP distributed 281 MT of food to 16,884 beneficiaries. These included 15,110 IDPs, 400 refugees and 1,374 in-patients.
A total of 95 MT of mixed commodities were distributed to 10,200 beneficiaries in White Nile State during the week. The beneficiaries included 8,521 vulnerable persons at Gos es Salam and Laya IDP camps and 1,679 flood affected persons (1,007 women and 672 men) in eight villages in Ruot rural council. These beneficiaries lost part of their food stocks that were in underground stores following flooding in August. A joint WFP/GoS/SRC needs assessment conducted during the last reporting period in the flood-affected area recommended one month food aid for the beneficiaries to supplement other coping mechanism. The distribution was carried out by a team of WFP and Sudan Red Crescent (SRC) staff which registered the target beneficiaries prior to food distribution. The flood-affected households were also provided with plastic sheeting shelter material by SRC.
WFP provided 25 MT of food to 2,946 IDPs in Khartoum. The food was distributed jointly with ADRA.
Renk: WFP staff distributed food to 779 IDPs in Shemodi. The food was delivered to Renk by the Juba barge convoy, after which it was transported, by tractor due to poor road conditions, to Shemodi. Distribution to 538 IDPs in Gos Fahmi was delayed due to poor road conditions.
WFP in collaboration with SRC distributed 236 MT of food to 10,511 IDPs in three locations in Kassala State. The beneficiaries comprised 5,511 women and 5,000 men.
2.2 Southern Sector
Bahr el Ghazal
In Aweil West County, a total of 188 MT of food aid was distributed to 28,092 targeted beneficiaries in Marial Bai, whilst in Nyamlell 224 MT of relief food was distributed to 32,424 beneficiaries. In Gogrial County, 70 MT of food aid was distributed to 18,684 beneficiaries in Amou, 140 MT of relief food was distributed to 21,000 targeted beneficiaries in Majakliet, 58 MT of food was distributed to 14,466 beneficiaries in Mongok and 116 MT of relief food was distributed to 14,202 beneficiaries in Pakor. In Twic County, 145 MT of food aid was distributed to 38,831 beneficiaries in Baar.
Poor weather conditions continued to disrupt WFP operations in Bahr el Ghazal, resulting in delays and suspension of planned interventions and problematic staff movements. For instance, WFP teams in Nyamlell and Marial Bai (Aweil West County) reported that beneficiaries were slow in arriving at the distribution site because of heavy flooding in the area. The same problem was noted in Akon (Gogrial County) where 6,000 beneficiaries could not reach the distribution site because of a swollen river baring the way. WFP is exploring plans to serve the Akon beneficiaries in an alternative location. Problems were experienced during a distribution in Mayen Abun (Twic County) where a lack of porters resulted in WFP suspending air deliveries to that location.
WFP resumed food aid distributions in Panthou and Tieraliet (Aweil East County) following a two-week suspension of activities in these areas due to insecurity linked to the train movement. The distributions will target a total of 40,000 beneficiaries in both locations.
During the reporting period, WFP field staff were positioned to receive airdrops on behalf of WV Sudan in Wunscuei (Tonj County). As per a recent agreement between the two organisations, WV will carry out a food aid distribution with WFP-provided food aid to 10,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Makuac payam of Tonj County, who were recently displaced by fighting in Upper Nile.
In Bor County, Jonglei a total of 74 MT of food aid was distributed to 13,716 beneficiaries in Mabior and 48 MT of relief food was distributed to 7,000 beneficiaries in Poktap.
During the food aid distribution in Poktap, a total of 1,789 Nuer IDPs from Phou and Bieh State in Jonglei were included amongst the targeted beneficiaries. The IDPs started to arrive in the area around March 1999 as a result of continued fighting in their home areas. The WFP team on the ground reported strong visual signs of malnutrition amongst the children in the resident and IDP populations in Poktap.
Planned interventions in Ruweng County in the northern part of Western Upper Nile were cancelled following closure of the area by OLS security on 21 September. WFP field teams were planning to leave for Toy and Nimnim (Leech State) on 27 September to carry out rapid food aid distributions for a maximum duration of three days. Insecurity prevents longer interventions in both areas.
3. ASSESSMENT AND MONITORING
3.1 Northern Sector
A team comprising UN/NGO/GoS representatives conducted the Annual Needs Assessments in Gogrial during the reporting period. The team then proceeded to Aweil town to conduct similar assessments. In Kassala, the ANA were conducted in Adarman, Amara and Dabalawat IDP camps.
3.2 Southern Sector
Bahr el Ghazal
During the reporting period, WFP completed the ANA exercises in Aweil East County (visiting Malualkon, Akuem, and Panthou and villages around these centres). Initial assessment findings indicate that a combination of insecurity (raiding), poor rains followed by heavy flooding starting in July, and an influx of returnees and IDPs have all impacted negatively on the size of the plots cultivated and reduced seed yields. The most important factor has been the recent floods that have destroyed crops and homes, and led to internal displacement to relatives living on higher land. It is thought that 35-40% of households have been adversely effected and 50% of land is currently underwater. Many of those affected were returnees who only managed to plant in the lowlands and are typically amongst the poorest in the county.
With the continued threat of further raiding and influxes of returnees and displaced into the county, emergency food aid is still much needed for the poorest households. These are typically households headed by widowed or disabled persons, and make up an estimated 10% of the total population of the area. Food aid will continue to be needed for another 40-50% of the population who have previously lost assets, been displaced, and seen their crops destroyed by flooding. The findings indicate that without food aid interventions during the upcoming dry season there will be a high degree of malnourished children and mothers by the following "hunger gap" period around May 2000, further asset erosion and low investment in agricultural activities.
Planned ANA in Tangyang (Bieh State), Jonglei were cancelled following insecurity in the area.
The recently completed ANA for Toposaland, Kapoeta County, in Eastern Equatoria revealed that 1999 is the third consecutive dry year resulting in poorer families decreasing their herd sizes whereas the middle and better-off families managed to maintain fairly constant numbers. The reduction in livestock, compounded by a two-month drought during the first rainy season of 1999, may result in the worst year of the last seven for all socio-economic groups. Due to the drought, local grain will not be available for own consumption or exchange up until the next harvest for all areas including the traditional surplus areas of Mogos and Riwoto. Milk yields are expected to be low from the lack of pastures and the reduced calving that occurs in a drought year. Though wild fruits are available, they are likely to decrease since the poorer families will increase reliance on this food source. Trade with Ethiopia might be restricted due to new trading laws in that country, as well as with Kenya as a result of the generally poor harvest there. These were traditional outlets in times of need.
4.1 Air Operations
A total of 868 MT of food was delivered by air this week, an increase of 20% over the previous week. This was due to the increased deliveries by airlift and airfreight during the reporting period. Both El-Obeid based aircraft remained under maintenance during the week. Food was airdropped to southern sector locations as follows: Alek (68 MT), Mangar Angui (64 MT), Mangok (36 MT), Maper (72 MT), Marial Bai (32 MT), Mayen Abun (32 MT) and Riang Akieth (36 MT). In addition, food was delivered to northern sector locations as follows: Wau by airlift (166 MT) and by airfreight (259 MT) and to Juba by airlift (103 MT).
During the reporting period, three C-130 Hercules and three Buffalo aircraft continued to deliver food aid from Lokichoggio and one Ilyushin-76 operated out of Khartoum/El Obeid.
A consultant is to be hired as of 1 October to manage the shift from provision of NGO cargo handling (including shunting) at the Lokichoggio airport by UNICEF to a commercial contractor. WFP staff are participating in discussions and planning on this issue, in case WFP decides to follow suit at a later date. Currently, WFP has its own cargo handling and warehousing services for relief food delivered by air into the southern sector of OLS.
4.2 Barge Operations
The Juba barge convoy delivered 24 MT of food for distribution to IDPs in Renk. The barge convoy proceeded to Malakal, where it halted due to concerns over the security situation in Unity State. WFP staff from the northern and southern sectors are monitoring the security situation with a view to advising on the upstream movement of the convoy. The barge convoy is carrying 2,806 MT of food that are planned to be distributed to 300,959 beneficiaries in 40 locations in Unity, Upper Nile, Jonglei and Equatoria regions. The barge convoy left Kosti on 17 September. A joint WFP north/south team is expected to distribute the food and conduct post distribution monitoring along the river corridor.
4.3 Road Operations
During the week, WFP food was delivered by road from Kosti to locations in White Nile and Ed Daein. Food delivered to IDP camps in Ed Daein totalled 186 MT of mixed commodities. Within White Nile State, WFP delivered 67 MT of food to IDP camps in Kosti, and 24 MT to flood affected persons in Ruot rural council.
Road convoys of food aid to beneficiaries in the Chukudum area (Kapoeta County), Eastern Equatoria resumed during the reporting period. These are the first convoys to this area since around April 1998, due to either low food needs or sporadic access following insecurity.
Food distributions in Bentiu were suspended due to deteriorating security conditions during the week. As a result, WFP and other humanitarian personnel moved to Rubkona town in the evening and spent only part of the day in Bentiu.
The Government of Sudan denied flight access to Mankien and Nhialdiu (Leech State), Western Upper Nile as of 23 September until the end of the month, on grounds of insecurity.
On 19 September, Mankien and Nhialdiu (Leech State), Western Upper Nile, were "no-go" areas following insecurity and the bombing of Mankien on the 19th. All other locations in Leech State were also "no-go" on 19 September except for Nyal and Ganyiel. All locations in Leech State except for Nyal and Ganyiel remained "no-go" areas for "longer-term interventions" until the end of the reporting period on 25 September. In Latjor State (Eastern Upper Nile), Longochok remained a "no-go" area throughout the reporting period due to insecurity. The security situation in Western Upper Nile changes daily.
Tangyang (Bieh State), Jonglei and Jibor (Phou State), Jonglei were declared "no-go" areas on 22 September following insecurity in the area and remained closed to WFP until the end of the reporting period on 25 September.
On 20 September, Panthou, Tieraliet and Baau all in Aweil East County, Bahr el Ghazal were re-opened to WFP operations. All three trains are believed to be in Aweil town, Bahr el Ghazal awaiting to move northwards. On 25 September, Ajak (Aweil East County) was cleared for WFP operations.
The WFP barge delivering food aid along the Juba corridor is in Malakal (Upper Nile) awaiting security clearance before proceeding downstream towards Juba town.
During the previous reporting period, six WFP staff participated in a three-day workshop in Nairobi from 15 to 17 September aimed at formulating a five-year vision for OLS. WFP staff played an active role in drawing up a five-year vision in the areas of "Household Food Security/Nutrition," "Education" and "Emergency Preparedness (Food)". The final day was spent drafting regional contingency plans covering all sectors of need.
WFP field staff met with agencies in Rumbek town (Rumbek County), Bahr el Ghazal on 23 September to explore possible emergency school feeding initiatives in the area.
WFP staff continued to be actively involved in on-going discussion between OLS and non-OLS agencies over plans to repatriate Bor County IDPs (Jonglei) currently living in Eastern and Western Equatoria. The division of responsibilities for provision of humanitarian assistance amongst the agencies has not yet been finalised. WFP will play a role in provision of food aid, and is exploring a possible role in logistics. The first phase of the repatriation exercise is due to start in November 1999 with the relocation of people living in displaced persons camps in Eastern Equatoria. Initial numbers of returnees are estimated to start at 10,000 persons, possibly increasing to 150,000 people.
During the reporting period, eight WFP staff participated in a two-day workshop in Lokichoggio on "peer counselling" facilitated by WFP's staff counsellor. The workshop aimed to equip participants with the necessary skills to assist other field staff who have been involved in (potentially) life-threatening situations in the field. WFP will also carry out "peer counselling" training with other countries in the Great Lakes and the Horn of Africa regions.
* * *
The WFP Sudan Bulletin is available on the WFP Website at http://www.wfp.org. For further information on WFP operations in Sudan, please contact the WFP Africa Bureau - Mr. Ismat Fahmi, Programme Coordinator for Sudan: e-mail Ismat.Fahmi@wfp.org, telephone 39 06 6513 2338; or Ms. Leslie Elliott, Reports Officer, e-mail: Leslie.Elliott@wfp.org, telephone 39 06 6513 2871. The address of WFP is Via Cesare Giulio Viola 68, Parco dei Medici, 00148 Rome, Italy.
Revised: 14 October 1999
©: 1999, World Food Programme. All rights reserved.