South Sudan

Food Security and Emergency Markets Mapping and Analysis Assessment - Maiwut and Longechuk Counties, Adar State | Upper Nile, South Sudan April 2016


1. Introduction

The NPA and ROSS led food security, nutrition and livelihood assessment in Maiwut and Longechuk Counties, which was carried out from the 9th March through 30th March 2016. The objective was to understand how different rural population groups in the counties survive and cope with shocks and market systems.

Assessment team purposely sampled 12 areas in Maiwut and Longechuk Counties (Maiwut; 6 and Longechuk; 6). Furthermore, 3 markets were assessed (Maiwut County: 2 and Longechuk County; 1)
A total of 140 key informants were interviewed in Maiwut and Longechuk Counties (Maiwut; 74 and Longechuk; 66) using simple random sampling. Every household had an equal chance for being sampled. For EMMA, 28 traders and key informants (Pagak; 9, Maiwut; 9 and Mathiang; 10) were interviewed.
A combination of quantitative and qualitative methods was used, as they complement each other. Quantitative method was used to address questions that were predominantly based on the descriptive. Qualitative method was used to address issues from the theoretical and applied objective. Mixed methods were used to enable triangulation of data and increased analytical power as each data source assists in the interpretation of the other.

Much of the information collected were qualitative and quantitative, providing an insight into communities of Maiwut and Longechuk Counties and their present circumstance. Collecting quantitative and qualitative information that is objective and accurate requires the use of good interviewing skills.
Participating learning and action (PLA) tools and techniques were used throughout the assessment (semi structured interviews, direct observation, triangulation, transect walk, trend and change analysis and problem analysis) to collect and analyse primary data at several levels; county, payam and boma levels. Semi-structured interviews were more utilized to allow a general discussion to unfold as the interview progresses. Assessment team was open to fresh questions and lines of enquiry during the interviews. The interviews were relaxed, informal and conversational. Questions were generally open-ended allowing answers to emerge from a guided discussion. Further, direct observation enabled cross-check information received from other sources.

The discussions with ROSS and NPA field staff provided further information for analysis. Assessment team conducted in-depth discussions with ROSS County Secretaries prior to the start of the field work.
The assessment methodology was largely based on the Household Economy Approach (HEA). The HEA helps to understand how much food a typical household in a certain socio-economic group and location normally consumes -- over a certain time period and how that food is accessed by the household through its various income and non-income sources, and then a baseline picture of its food economy can be developed. The baseline picture can then be compared with the expected situation guided by the analysis of several factors such as expected changes in socio-political environment, agricultural and livestock production, market conditions, prices, terms of trade etc.

NPA and ROSS used EMMA Methodology to conduct the assessment. Using a combination of existing tools, from seasonal calendars to market system maps, the EMMA combines gap analysis and market system analysis to offer a systemic and comprehensive understanding of the constraints and capacity of critical market systems.

2. Context

Two years after achieving independence from Sudan, divisions within the ruling SPLM prompted renewed conflict in South Sudan in December 2013. The conflict erupted in the capital city, Juba on December 2013 and quickly turned into ethnically motivated violence. The crisis became conflict with Jonglei, Unity and Upper Nile representing the primary states of fighting. Since the onset of the conflict in mid-December 2013, South Sudan is effectively a country split in two, the areas governed by SPLM-IO and government.

In early 2014, the fighting intensified and Gulguk Payam, Longechuk County was captured and became the battleground between SPLM-IO and government. It was until the 5th May 2014 that government forces captured Mathiang, Longechuk County. The Mathiang remained under the control of government forces until the 14th May 2014, when they withdrew from area back to Gulguk.

People were killed and internally displaced. The most affected payams were Gulguk, Darjo and Belwang (especial Mayen Boma) in Longechuk County. People in Mayen Boma of Belwang, for instance, were vulnerable to conflict for most of 2014 through to 2015 due both to the movement and actions. The people of Gulguk were displaced to Udier, Pamach, Malual Payams, while people of Darjo were displaced to Udier and Chotbora. Some people from Longechuk County did seek refuge in Maiwut County and others crossed to Ethiopia, as refugees. In Maiwut County, Burun tribe of Kigile Payam were entirely displaced to Ethiopian refugee camps for supporting Juba government. However, Burun tribe of Wadesa, Kigile Payam were not displaced because they did not involve in conflict.

The conflict and insecurity has had a profound impact on market chain actors, market linkages and market integration. However, the impact on overall food security and food access at household level has been significant. Maiwut and Longechuk Counties, prior to the conflict, was developing. At present the primary characteristics of the humanitarian environment are existing caseload of internally displaced and vulnerable population, a lack of liquidity, inflation and local currency devaluation and disruption of the development.

Presently the IDP and vulnerable populations represents the most vulnerable segment of the population. Targeted food distributions by WFP and its partners continue with supporting of the population. According to a report compiled by NPA to WFP, at the end of December 2015, there were 41,462 beneficiaries (Pagak; 17,018, Maiwut; 11,855 and Mathiang; 12,589) receiving food aid in Maiwut and Longechuk Counties.

Liquidity at household levels continues to be a concern and is further compounded by the depreciation of South Sudanese pounds. The pound officially trade at 18.5 to 1 USD but is traded on the black market at a rate of roughly 32-35 to 1 USD.