Situation Overview: Upper Nile State, South Sudan (July - September 2018)
Upper Nile State (UNS) saw localised fighting, reported dry spells and increasing rates of returns in the third quarter of 2018, which exacerbated food insecurity, water, hygiene and sanitation (WASH) and WASH-related health challenges, in turn raising protection concerns. Conflict in Maban County as well as residual tensions in southeastern UNS and the western bank, coupled with the reported dry spells, hindered cultivation across the state. Poor harvests coincided with increasing returns, stressing limited available resources at the peak of the lean season. Data on needs in UNS is required to inform the humanitarian response. However, information gaps exist due to regional variation and limited access throughout much of the state.
REACH has been assessing hard-to-reach areas of South Sudan since December 2015 in order to inform the response of humanitarian actors working outside formal settlement sites. Data is collected on a monthly basis through key informant interviews from settlements across the region. To ensure information provided on settlements was current, REACH interviewed KIs who were either new arrivals from the assessed settlement or had contacted an individual from there within the last month.
The REACH team covered Panyikang, Malakal and Fashoda counties from July to September. Coverage of the western bank included Manyo County in September. Security challenges in the Maban and Akobo (in neighbouring Jonglei State) bases limited data collection: Maban County was only covered in July, while Ulang and Nasir counties were only covered in August and September. No primary data is presently available on central UNS (Map 1).
In the third quarter of 2018, REACH interviewed 458 key informants (KIs) from 184 settlements in 7 counties of UNS. This data was supplemented with four Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) conducted with new arrivals on displacement, migration, food security and protection in Tonga in Panyikang County, Zero Bus Station in Renk County and two in the Malakal Protection of Civilians (PoC) site. Primary data was supplemented with secondary information and past REACH assessments.
This situation overview (SO) evaluates changes in observed humanitarian needs across UNS in the third quarter of 2018. The first section analyses displacement and population movement to and from the area, while the second section disaggregates trends on access to food and basic services, including sections on food security and livelihoods (FSL); protection; WASH and health; shelter and non-food items (NFIs); and education.
Information is presented across three geographic zones in UNS: the western bank (Panyikang, Malakal, Fashoda and Manyo counties), the Maban region (Maban County) and southeastern UNS (Nasir and Ulang counties