Sudan

Operation Lifeline Sudan Weekly Report: 12 Jan 2000

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Access Issues
Air Operations

During the week 25 December 1999 to 1 January 2000, WFP delivered 431 MTs of food from the northern sector to various locations in Sudan. Deliveries were 28% lower than the previous week. WFP airlifts to Wau continued during the week, delivering 112 MTs of food. Food amounting to 301 MTs was delivered to Juba by airfreight. WFP flights were limited as the C-130 aircraft was undergoing maintenance for two days and grounded for four days in Lokichokio in anticipation of Y2K problems There was therefore only one airdrop (18 MTs) in Ajak.

During the week 2 - 8 January, WFP delivered 339 MTs of food by air from the northern sector to locations in the country. Deliveries were 21% lower than the previous week. The decrease was due to mechanical problems involving the C-130 aircraft and the suspension of air operations for the Eid-el-Fitr holiday. Food was delivered by airdrop to Atukuel (36 MTs), Bararud (18 MTs), Madhol (54 MTs) and Thiekthou (54 MTs). Airlifts to Wau continued delivering 69 MTs of food. Wau town also received 108 MTs of food by airfreight during the week.

During the reporting period, two C-130 Hercules and two Buffalo aircraft continued to deliver food aid from Lokichokio and one C-130 Hercules operated out of El Obeid.

No deliveries were made to Southern Sector locations from Khartoum during the reporting period.

Road Operations

During the reporting period 25 December 1999 to 1 January 2000, 6 MTs of food were delivered to Rubkona, Unity State for distribution. SCF-US at Um Ruwaba in North Kordofan also received 110 MTs of WFP food.

Barge Operations

Initial security assessments of the barge corridor have been carried out. The findings show that some of the areas investigated have questionable security due to factional realignment. The launch of the Juba-13 barge convoy has therefore been delayed until further security investigations have been carried out.

SECURITY

CARE Staff killed

Two CARE staff were killed in Unity State during the reporting period while one other CARE employee and a fourth person were reported missing. The four-man team was driving in a truck from Bentiu to Mayoum on January 2 to open a new health clinic. They were last seen alive by CARE sources 30 miles from Bentiu. A search and rescue team comprised of personnel from CARE, the UN and the government of Sudan were dispatched to the area. The truck and the body of Mekki El Ekheir Mekki were found on January 5 along the road to Mayoum. The body of Ibrahim Ishag Abaker was found a few miles away.

Ibrahim Ishag Abaker was a team leader for CARE in Unity State and Mekki El Ekheir Mekki was a driver. Mr. Abaker leaves a wife and five children while Mr. Mekki leaves a wife and six children. Both men had worked for CARE for nearly 10 years.

Security Awareness training workshops concluded during the reporting period. Staff from El Obeid, Wau, Ad Daein, Malakal and Juba, as well as several country office personnel were trained in field security issues.

On 3 January 2000, Lankien was declared level 4 based on the unsettled situation on the ground.. No-Go sites in the region then included Lankien, Waat, Tangyang, Pieri, Kaikuiny, and Motot.

On 5 January 2000, OLS security visited several sites in Upper Nile/Jonglei and reported that Commander Simon Gatwich had left Waat and that Governor Riak Gai was in Panyang and had requested a meeting with OLS Security.

On 6 January 2000, five SRRA passengers aboard a flight destined for Lual refused to alight and insisted on being taken to Mabior, another town on the itinerary. A struggle ensued after which the pilots agreed to take the passengers on to Mabior. SRRA authorities in Lokichokio informed OLS that these passengers were arrested on arrival in Mabior.

On 7 January 2000, OLS security met with Commander Peter Gadet in Western Upper Nile. Commander Gadet reiterated that his troops were not involved in the CARE vehicle attack and that he was not aware of any hostages being held by his troops or anyone else.

Lankien was declared security level two on 7 January 2000 by OLS security for the return of NGOs while Waat, Tangyang, Pieri, Kaikuiny, and Motot remained no go areas.

On 8 January 2000, an aircraft veered off the runway on landing at the Manding airstrip. The aircraft was non-OLS and believed to belong to a company based in Lokichokio. No injuries were reported.

On 8 January 2000, MSF-B team in Acumcum reported that local officials had entered their compound to conscript staff for the Army. In addition, there were no counterparts on the ground. The counterparts returned later and three staff members were released by mid-afternoon. The rest were expected to be released later.

On 9 January 2000, OLS security reported that it had noted many displaced persons moving out of the Waat area.

The recent decision by RASS to increase permit fees for humanitarian workers and journalists as well as aircraft landing fees was withdrawn.

DELIVERIES, DISTRIBUTIONS & INTERVENTIONS

Food Distribution

Food delivered to Pibor by airdrop from Lokichokio amounting to 128 MTs was distributed to 9,000 war affected beneficiaries.

WFP in conjunction with NCA, UNICEF, the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare delivered 16 MTs of Food to 1,549 beneficiaries in Wau town and Eastern Bank Camps. The beneficiaries were vulnerable groups comprising TB patients, blind and malnourished persons and children receiving emergency school feeding.

A total of 18,720 beneficiaries received WFP food in Wuncum and Banya, Bahr Al Ghazal.

Emergency Response

UNICEF reports that 536 kg. of essential drugs were delivered to Bam Lwakat, Asosa and Pibor to benefit 35000 rural population especially at this time of the year.

UNICEF reports that 1.5 MTs of UNIMIX were delivered to Kanat and Obels Feeding Centres to cater for under five children programmes and lactating mothers. Plans are being made for 7 MTs of UNIMIX expected to expire in February 2000 to be distributed to beneficiaries in January or early February.

Nutrition & Household Food Security

UNICEF reports that some 2,427 under-five children in the ten Supplementary Feeding Centres (SFC) and two Therapeutic Feeding Centres (TFC) in Juba benefited from the 32.34 MTs of UNIMIX distributed through ACF and the State Ministry of Health.

Immunization Campaign

The second round of Expanded Programme on Immunisation (EPI) acceleration covered Kodok, Panyikang, Owachi, Obai and Panyiduay. The total number of children and women served will be relayed later.

The Minister of Education in the Coordinating Council for Southern States, Juba, H.E. Mr. Deng Twach Both, discussed with UNICEF, Juba, on 4 January 2000, plans for a school gardening programme to be initially implemented in three selected schools namely Juba Girls Basic School, Juba Boys Basic School and Hai Mayo Girls Basic School, in Juba Town. Three cans of watermelon seeds were released for the purpose on 5 January 2000. The gardens will be managed by 75 students.

ASSESSMENTS

Post distribution monitoring illustrated the effect of insecurity around Aweil town on the coping mechanisms of the people. Restrictions of movement result in confinement to smaller areas when gathering wild foods and firewood. There were no new influxes of people into the town. IDPs and local residents bridge their food gap by laboring in government-owned agricultural schemes, gathering and selling firewood and selling small quantities of home-grown foods.

The local relief committee mentioned that airdrops by the Illyushin-76 were a great improvement from the C-130 aircraft as they resulted in less food loss. They also said however, that beneficiaries complained about lack of salt in the WFP food basket.

The WFP team visited four emergency school-feeding centres. The availability of WFP food was found to have encouraged pupils to attend classes more regularly. Their concerns included the need for detergent for washing utensils. The necessity of salt was also highlighted. Recommendations included the inclusion of salt amongst food items for January distributions and providing TB patients with salt and sugar in January 2000. Airlift as the only method of transport was also recommended because of the hazard of airdropping in such a heavily populated area and the losses incurred.

WFP in conjunction with CARE and the Global Health Foundation carried out a registration exercise in Bentiu and Rub-Kona over the reporting period. The target group in Rub-Kona consisted of displaced people living in the town and persons trickling in during registration. HAC reported that a large number of people had fled Bentiu due to insecurity during October 1999 and were now trying to return to the area. WFP registered those who had managed to enter the town. The numbers registered were 6,798 beneficiaries in Bentiu and 2,984 in Rub-Kona.

WFP recommended that in view of the high malnutrition rate and the prevalent food insecurity in the area, full food ration needed to be issued to the beneficiaries for at least three months. Another nutritional assessment needs to be carried out at the end of this period to determine the ration scale for the rest of the year.

WFP jointly with CARE and UNICEF undertook a nutrition survey in Bentiu during December 1999. The objective of the survey was to determine the nutrition status of the beneficiaries, explain the causes of and determine the groups at highest risk of malnutrition, thereby estimating the number of people needing assistance. The review will act as baseline information during insecurity and be used in making recommendations for program implementation

The survey found a high rate of malnutrition among children in Bentiu (26.3%), the major cause of which was inadequate dietary intake arising from inappropriate food sources. The distribution of relief food has been erratic over the past 5 months because of insecurity. The rate of malnutrition was found to be higher among IDPs (51%) than residents (12%) and one in every two IDP children was malnourished. Relief food was found to constitute 76% of IDP intake. Among IDPs in residential areas, malnutrition affected all age groups with no distinction between boys and girls. Overall, 41% of all children were in supplementary feeding programs. A greater number of local residents is in SFP than IDPs, which in part explained the observed difference in nutrition status. Water and sanitation facilities were found to be adequate.

Care and WFP have four feeding centres with a capacity for 500 people. Only one centre was operational at the time of the review.

The review recommended that full ration as well as supplementary feeding be provided for six months to prevent further deterioration of the nutritional status. Since IDPs are highly mobile in the search for food, adequate food will help concentrate their presence in Bentiu, where other health services are also available.

As implementing NGO, CARE was required to determine the supplementary and therapeutic feeding requirements. WFP and UNICEF have been recommended to meet all necessary food and health requirements for implementing a selective feeding program. Regular reporting and monitoring will be required. The feeding programs are to close after six months and activities return to normal following improvements in the security situation.

Health Matters

The weekly communicable disease report from the Juba Teaching Hospital records 36 cases of malaria, 11 cases of acute respiratory infection, 41 cases of Gastro-enteritis and three new admissions for tuberculosis.

UNICEF reports that the number of suspected cases of meningitis reported in Wau has not increased significantly since the last up-date of 25 December 1999. It is therefore agreed that there is no need to begin a campaign but to continue with close follow up and preparedness plan. Close follow up and monitoring by the meningitis committee is ongoing.

Between 8 December 1999 and 9 January 2000, the total reported suspected meningitis cases in Wau is 21 with five deaths. About 73 % of the cases are from Wau town and 27 % from Eastern Bank, Marial Ajith and Gete. Out of 21 suspected cases, three were admitted in the Military Hospital (two children and one adult). There are no cases reported from Raga and Aweil. There is at present no close follow up, monitoring or acceleration campaign.

INTERNALLY DISPLACED PERSONS

Reports of an increasing number of Internally Displaced Persons are being received from various locations in Upper Nile. Pajut and Chotbura reported an influx of IDPs from Longochok. An assessment team will visit Udier, Pajut and probably Chotbora to confirm the report. SCF-UK reported that IDPs are moving from Akobo and Burmac to Tanyang. The NGO is making plans to send interventions to Tangyang. Other reports indicate that Wathjak and Manding had recorded the arrival of IDPS from the Nasir area.

Agencies involved in the second phase of the IDP relocation project in Ad Daein are awaiting details of funding approval by donors prior to the resettlement of 1,000 IDP households from camps in Ed Daein at Sanaam El Naaga. WFP will be providing food assistance during the resettlement process.

OTHER OLS ISSUES

Meeting

The NGO/UNHCU Weekly Security Meeting was held on 10 January 2000 at the UNHCU.