South Sudan

DTM IOM Displacement Tracking Matrix: Malakal Combined Assessment, February 2018


Introduction and Context

IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) conducted a combined assessement comprising a Village Assessment Survey (VAS) in Malakal Town and a complementary survey in the PoC site from 16 to 26 February 2018 to meet information gaps identiöed by the inter cluster working group (ICWG). The VAS tool has been used in South Sudan since 2007 and serves to identify critical gaps in available services in areas of high or potentially high return. Findings are presented in sector-speciöc sections for easy reference. The survey conducted in Malakal’s Protection of Civilian (PoC) site complements VAS öndings by gauging the potential interest of the displaced population to return to the town to make use of the assessed services. Please note that the town’s current population is primarily composed of relocated households from a variety of origins.

Formerly the second largest city in South Sudan, Malakal Town has been destroyed by the conflict beginning in December 2013. The town is known for having changed hands between the government and opposition several times in three years, resulting in multiple displacement of residents and leaving the majority of its infrastructure destroyed. Most areas are now covered in tall grass with only rusty remains of metal structures indicating the presence of a once bustling town. Malakal County’s population was estimated at 126,500 individuals during the 2008 census but was speculated to have grown in subsequent years before conflict erupted. According to the VAS head-count, the population measures only nine per cent of its pre-conflict size.

Malakal Town comprises six payams, namely Malakal North, South, East Central and two sparsely populated payams that remain inaccessible (Ogod and Lelo). Excluding the inaccessible payams and Malakal PoC site, the identified population of the remaining four payams, making up Malakal Town, amounts to 11,573 individuals.* The reduced population ögure and concomitant diminished public service needs should be taken into account when considering current state of the town’s infrastructure.

In contrast, the PoC site’s population had peaked at just under 48,000 individuals in August 2015, having now shrunk to half that population size according to the most recent registration undertaken in August 2017. The site population remains twice as large as the adjacent town’s and Flow Monitoring (FM) findings indicate that since June 2017, 92 per cent of permanent gate crossings were directed into as opposed to out of the site. FM data mirrors survey results according to which the vast majority of site residents do not have any immediate plans to leave the PoC site mostly due to security concerns. The relative calmness returning to Malakal Town should be understood against this backdrop.