Situation Overview: Awerial, Yirol East and Yirol West Counties, Lakes, South Sudan - April - June 2019
In the second quarter of 2019, insecurity and food shortages due to poor previous harvests continued to drive large-scale humanitarian needs across the eastern Lakes region.
Reflecting the severe humanitarian situation, Awerial, Yirol East and Yirol West Counties were projected to be facing emergency levels (IPC phase 4) of food security in June and July according to May’s updated Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC).
To inform humanitarian actors working outside of formal settlement sites, REACH has conducted assessments of hard-to-reach areas in South Sudan since December 2015. Data is collected on a monthly basis through interviews with key informants (KIs) with knowledge of a settlement, and triangulated with focus group discussions (FGDs). This Situation Overview uses this data to analyse changes in observed humanitarian needs across Lakes State in the second quarter of 2019.
• Movement toward Awerial County and Mingkaman informal settlement site continued in June, driven by access to humanitarian services, perceptions of safety and presence of relatives.
Further, conflict at the border of Yirol West and Rumbek East counties in late May resulted in displacement toward Mapourdit, Tali, Yirol Town and Mingkaman informal settlement site.
• Only 26% of assessed settlements in eastern Lakes reported that most people felt safe most of the time, far lower than the national total of 49%. Protection concerns were driven by reported fears of cattle raiding, inter-communal violence and looting in Yirol East and Yirol West Counties.
• Only 30% of assessed settlements in eastern Lakes reported having adequate food access and more than half of the assessed settlements reported eating only one meal a day. In June, poor harvests in 2018 caused by irregular rainfall and insecurity remained the primary reason for inadequate access to food.
• Water, Hygiene and Sanitation (WASH) indicators suggested limited access to improved water sources and problematic hygiene conditions. In Awerial County, only 62% of assessed settlements reported that boreholes were their main source of water in June, with an increased reliance on ponds and rivers the result of an insufficient number of boreholes in some settlements.3 Across eastern Lakes, only 20% of assessed settlements reported using latrines.
• Following the start of the rainy season, the prevalence of malaria being reported as the main health concern increased sharply in June as 54% of assessed settlements reported the disease as the primary health problem compared to 35% in March.
• Access to education remained stable between March and June in eastern Lakes, with 65% of assessed settlements reporting adequate access. Cultural practices preventing girls from receiving education continued to be a primary barrier to access for girls between the ages of six and seventeen.
For boys of the same age, assisting with work outside the home was the most commonly reported barrier to accessing education in eastern Lakes in June.
• In June, Shelter and Non-Food Items (NFIs) indicators remained largely consistent. as Tukuls8 were reported as the most common type of shelter in 99% of assessed settlements. However, in assessed settlements that reported the presence of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), improvised shelters9 remained the most commonly reported shelter for these residents, suggesting that IDPs often face worse shelter conditions.