Tonj North County situated in Warrap state borders Tonj South to the South, Tonj East to the East, Gogrial East County to the North and Wau County to the West. It is composed of 37 bomas and 10 payams namely; Alabek, Aliek, Pagol, Man Alor, Awul, Warrap, Kiirik, Akop, Rualbet and Marial Lou. The total population was estimated at 540,000.(1)
The county is endowed with rich black cotton soil, sandy soil patches and a flat low lying terrain. "Sudan" grass, palm trees, Acacia senegalis among various other thorny tree species were the predominant vegetative cover. River Pagol is an important source of livelihood to communities living around its course.
The nutrition survey was undertaken in five of the ten payams of Tonj North County known as Kwanythii (Warrap, Awul, Man Alor, Pagol and Kiirik). The accessible population was estimated at 77,690.
FEWSNET August 2007 reported slightly below to near normal rains in Western Flood Plains and Ironstone Plateau livelihood zones. Cumulative rainfall from June 1 to August 10 this year was similar to or greater than rainfall in the same period of 2006. Tonj North County did not experience severe floods and crop losses that were reported in counties like Gogrial and Aweil West.
Past nutrition surveys undertaken in Tonj County indicated above emergency GAM rates during the dry hunger gap season as shown in figure 1 below. The high rates were associated to food insecurity, insufficient health service coverage as well as inadequate water, hygiene and sanitation practices.
Figure 1: Malnutrition trends in Tonj North County (April 2003- February 2006)
Past malnutrition trends, expected population returns and the need to monitor various program interventions in the area necessitated ACF-USA and World Vision International (WVI) to undertake a nutrition survey in the area with the following specific objectives.
- To evaluate the nutritional status of children aged between 6 to 59 months.
- To estimate the measles immunization coverage of children aged 9 to 59 months.
- To estimate the crude mortality rate through a retrospective survey.
- To determine immediate, underlying and basic factors influencing the nutrition situation of the community.
(1) Source: SSRRC Tonj County Office, November 2007