South Sudan

Addressing food insecurity and displacement in Mayom

News and Press Release
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9 February 2016 - People have been putting their lives at risk on their long way to Bentiu especially women and children, says Angelina Nyagei, a resident of Mankien, Mayom County.

She said “We will go to Bentiu to access aid and we will not wait until our children die because of hunger.”

Since early in the year food insecurity is displacing people in Mayom county and the remaining dry months will exacerbate this problem.

The number of people migrating from their villages is increasing due to food insecurity, according to Acting County Commissioner, Mathew Wanbang Nyanter.

He said livestock, water lilies and cereal crop harvest are the main livelihoods that help to cope with the food insecurity and sustain people in their villages.

The acting commissioner said “…the cows have died, and there are not left enough to sell, and buy food. Also, there is not enough water to sustain fish or water lilies.”

Mathew said the rainfall in 2015 was not enough for cattle and cultivation of crops, adding this was worsened by conflict as well as flooding in 2014 which destroyed crops and brought about a huge impact on animal health resulting in massive death of livestock.

An integrated team of humanitarian organizations and UNMISS field office in Bentiu visited Mayom and Mankien Payam in February to assess the humanitarian situation and the last food distribution by the World Food Program in Mankien which was in December 2015.

There are close to 4,000 people living in Mankien town with the community, mainly displaced from surrounding areas, according to John Pouk working for South Sudan Relief and Rehabilitation Commission.

UNHCR has distributed non-food items to 50 vulnerable displaced people in Mankien and World Vision is conducting registration for distribution of additional non- food items to 2,500 people.

Mankien Primary Health Care Center Clinical Officer, Kuol Gai, said cases of miscarriages and premature births have been on the rise and that could be linked with the acute hunger conditions.

Kuol noted “Each month about 24-30 cases of miscarriages and premature births are recorded in the health Center and currently the center also run out of medicine of any type”.