Gogrial West County is situated in Warrap
State, Southern Sudan's Bahr-el-Ghazal region. It borders Unity State,
Wau, Twic, Tonj, Aweil East and South Counties to the North East, South
West, North, East and West respectively.
The county counts 116.816(1) inhabitants. The predominant denizens of Gogrial West County are the Dinka ethnic group of the Aguok sub clan whose predominant livelihood activity is agro-pastoralism. Gogrial West county is further subdivided into payams, bomas and villages. The nine administrative payams in the County are Alek South, Alek North, Alek West, Gogrial, Kuac North, Kuac South, Riau, Akon North and Akon South.
Administratively, the commissioner is in charge of the county while chiefs and administrators govern villages, bomas and payams respectively. The county is under the jurisdiction of the GoSS.
The area lies within the Western flood plain zone. It is a flat terrain whose soil structure is mainly sandy with pockets of loam clay soil.
A number of seasonal rivers exist in the region (Malualawien and Nyantit rivers are the main ones). They provide fishing grounds to the community during certain times of the year.
FEWSNET November 2006 report, indicated
good production in the highlands while flooding negatively affected lowland
crops in Gogrial County. It also revealed that an unknown number of households
were displaced due to inter-ethnic conflicts in early 2006.
Reports tentatively estimated that up to 20% of the county's population may have been affected by the insecurity. According to FEWSNET December 2006 - January 2007, the potential arrival of large numbers of returnees from Northern Sudan could strain local capacities, sources of food and labour opportunities. Moreover, the insecurity also interrupted some cultivation activities in the area.
At the beginning of the year 2005, ACF-USA undertook an exploratory/rapid assessment that detected critical malnutrition rates necessitating the opening of targeted feeding programs. However, due to the reduced admissions the program was closed after seven months. A survey conducted by ACF-USA between February and March 2006 further revealed GAM and SAM rates of 23.9% [20.0% -28.2%] and 4.2% [2.6% -6.6%] in Z-scores (NCHS reference, at 95% confidence interval) respectively. Such prevalence indicated the need to re-open feeding program, and ACFUSA implemented them from May 2006.
Considering the above factors and the need to monitor the nutrition situation, ACF-USA carried out a nutritional survey in Gogrial West County. The survey which was implemented between 17th January and 9th February 2007 had the following objectives:
To evaluate the nutritional status of children aged 6 to 59 months.
To estimate the crude mortality rate through a retrospective survey.
To estimate the measles immunization coverage of children aged 9 to 59 months.
To determine immediate, basic and underlying factors influencing the nutrition situation of the community.
The SMART methodology was applied for both the anthropometric and retrospective mortality surveys.
All the accessible villages in Alek South, Alek North, Alek West, Riau and Gogrial payams were included in the survey design.
From the SRRC population figures, the target population(2) was calculated after which larger villages were divided evenly into sub villages with a target population size not greater than 250. This data was then entered into Nutrisurvey for SMART software (December 2006 version) from where planning was done.
Retrospective mortality data was collected alongside the anthropometric data.
Further, qualitative data was gathered through observation and households interviews through structured questionnaires. The data focused on food security, water and sanitation, child care services as well as accessibility and utilization of health care services.
(1) Source: Acting SRRC Gogrial West
(2) estimated at 20% of the entire population