Sudan: ACF Nutrition survey - Preliminary results report, Rub Kona County, Unity State

from Action Contre la Faim France
Published on 25 Aug 2008

Bentiu and Rub Kona towns are located in Rub Kona County, Unity State, South Sudan. Unity state is an oil-bearing state bordered by South and Western Kordofan states on north (border with north Sudan), Warrap State on west and Jonglei State on east. Theses twin towns are located at approximately 800 km south of Khartoum. They are separated by a 7km tarmac road that crosses the Northern Bahr el Ghazal River by a bridge. All state governance bodies are located in Bentiu town.

The climate is sub tropical, with two main seasons: the dry season from October to April and the rainy season from May to September. This swampy area is endemic for diseases as malaria, Kala Azar, and parasites, such as bilharzia. Floods, which are normal to occur during the rainy season, are an additional factor to this disease-prone situation.

The main ethnic group is the Nuer, who belong to the Nilotic people, and are traditionally agropastoralists, for whom cattle is a landmark for prestige, wealth and social recognition. During the war, part of the population of the rural areas surrounding Bentiu and Rub Kona were displaced to Bentiu and Rub Kona, while others moved to Khartoum or bordering countries. Displacement and conflict have led to the disruption of livelihood strategies, and the implementation of emergency operations in response. This has shifted only recently, with the end of the war, and to some extent has induced a relative dependency on humanitarian aid throughout the area.

Three years after the CPA1 signature between North and South Sudan, returnees from Khartoum and from neighboring countries are still coming back to South Sudan. Since January 2008, 6,595 spontaneous returnees were registered in Unity State, from the 20,000 expected throughout the year 2.

Arabs and Dinkas are also present as the migration roads of the Baggara and Arabs tribes cross part of the region. Tensions between Arabs and Nuers can rise quickly as Arabs are not well integrated into the Nuer community.

During the rainy season, as Bentiu and Rub Kona towns are flooded, there are population movements from one area to another within the town. In addition, in April 2008, Yoanyang area was destroyed and people moved to other areas in Rub Kona or in Bentiu towns, as well as to other counties.

ACF3 is running a nutrition program in Bentiu and Rub Kona which includes one TFP4 in Bentiu to treat severe acute malnutrition with medical complications, and two OTP5 distribution sites in Rub Kona and in Bentiu to treat severe acute malnutrition without medical complications.

The SFP6 which focused on treatment of moderately malnourished children was closed in January 2007 due to high defaulter rates.

Every year, since July 2000, ACF conducts nutrition surveys in the Bentiu area. Since February 2007 Bentiu and Rub Kona are gathered in one survey as no differences were found in terms of malnutrition rates from previous surveys.