Home | News    Friday 4 January 2013

Payinjiar County hit by hunger after 2012 floods


By Bonifacio Taban Kuich

January 3, 2013 (BENTIU) - Hunger in Unity State’s Payinjiar County is reaching crisis levels, according to local residents and officials following severe flooding last year, which residents say has wiped out their crops and food supplies. Some residents are fleeing to towns like Bentiu and Juba to find help and relief.

JPEG - 34.3 kb
A flooded farm in Payinjiar County, Unity State, 18 August 2011 (ST/Bonifacio Taban)

In Nyal, authorities say as many as 2,000 people were affected by heavy rains and flooding from July through to September. Most simply fled to higher ground and are still there, waiting for emergency supplies. Some children along with their parent parents have been forced to eat roots, wild fruits, fish, water lilies and even leaves to survive.

In October last year, Unity State’s deputy Governor, Michael Chiengjiek Geay warned that citizens living near the state capital, Bentiu would face severe hunger after floods destroyed most farms in the area.

He said six out of the nine counties in the state received poor harvests, due to unusually heavy rains experience since June.

Riek Doar, a resident of Gakal village in Nyal payam, was forced to flee from his home more than four months ago. He says it is becoming harder and harder to find food and the situation is getting desperate.

“The situation here is becoming very difficult due to severe hunger. The conditions are only getting worse, if the government does not take some action against this hunger we will all die”, said Doar.

Michael Thoar Gatpan, a senior inspector for Nyal payam district, says nearly all of the area’s crops have been destroyed by the rain and flooding. Authorities from the area have appealed several times to the United Nations and humanitarian agencies to provide assistance to the victims of the floods.

But with the area drying up and with food supplies running out, Gatpan says people may not be able to wait any longer.

Gatpan told Sudan Tribune in Nyal: “Our communities are still suffering since their crops were destroyed by heavy rain a lots of floods, so people are now looking for a place where they can be supported even some of them start to go to Bentiu or others place like Toich rivers where they can get little food for themselves.”

Six UN agencies assessed the area in October last year, to try and determine the humanitarian needs of the people in Nyal. The assessments called for rapid delivery of emergency food supplies for the victims. But Gatpan says Nyal is remote and getting food to the village has proven to be a monumental task.

Riek Doar says the government should work hand in hand with humanitarian organizations to swiftly resolve the hunger issue.

“They should be together listening to our voices, crying for help. If they worked together, perhaps they could eradicate our hunger. It would be great if the government could help us solve these problems”, said Doar.

Payinjiar is one of the most inaccessible of Unity State’s nine counties. State officials claim they will soon begin renovating a road from the Unity State capital of Bentiu to Payinjiar County so that NGOs can reach this remote area. But residents say that actions speak louder than words.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), in its October bulletin, said that flooding from seasonal rains incidents had affected at least nine of South Sudan’s 10 states.

The worst affected areas, it said, were “parts of Jonglei, Lakes, Northern Bahr el Ghazal, Unity and Upper Nile states”.

“Most floods so far have not warranted major humanitarian interventions due to their predictable and localized nature. The humanitarian community continues to monitor the situation and conduct rapid needs assessments to determine any need of humanitarian assistance for flood-affected people,” the bulletin reads in part.

To-date, access to some flood-affected areas, according to UNOCHA, remains limited due to weak infrastructure affected by the heavy rains, while insecurity in Jonglei and Unity states reportedly hampered assessment missions in its flooded areas.

Last year, however, the country’s ministry of health established an emergency flood task force. In addition, surveillance of flood-affected counties is now reportedly taking place across South Sudan.


Comments on the Sudan Tribune website must abide by the following rules. Contravention of these rules will lead to the user losing their Sudan Tribune account with immediate effect.

- No inciting violence
- No inappropriate or offensive language
- No racism, tribalism or sectarianism
- No inappropriate or derogatory remarks
- No deviation from the topic of the article
- No advertising, spamming or links
- No incomprehensible comments

Due to the unprecedented amount of racist and offensive language on the site, Sudan Tribune tries to vet all comments on the site.

There is now also a limit of 400 words per comment. If you want to express yourself in more detail than this allows, please e-mail your comment as an article to comment@sudantribune.com

Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.
  • 4 January 2013 08:25, by MJriaksdca

    If a president, vice president, governors, and commissioners sleep without food today, some people in their cabinet, presidential ministry would be removed from their jobs, but none would be removed if it is the grassroot people suffering. My advice is endure the pain now, but please take care of the job when 2015 come around.

    repondre message

  • 4 January 2013 10:40, by master

    divine punishment

    repondre message

  • 4 January 2013 22:25, by Northern Sudanese

    More than halve south sudan is starving and Sudan Tribune is speaking about a small county???

    repondre message

Comment on this article


The following ads are provided by Google. SudanTribune has no authority on it.

Sudan Tribune

Promote your Page too

Latest Comments & Analysis

President Festus G. Mogae rekindles peace hopeful dividends for South Sudan 2015-11-28 07:33:06 By James Okuk Friday 27th November 2015 had marked a very important step forward on the path of peace in the Republic of South Sudan despite lagging behind the schedules in the last wasted three (...)

The Sudanese rebels’ national agenda is causing local harm 2015-11-26 07:46:17 By Hafiz Ismail Mohamed Sudan people's Liberation Movement- North (SPLM-N)'s insistence on negotiating with the government about national issues only – rather than giving priority to South (...)

Tribal politics is what destroying our social fabric 2015-11-25 06:08:13 By Malek Cook-Dwach, “The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it.”? Albert Einstein In the paradox of (...)


Latest Press Releases

Deadly Public Order raid in Umm Dawm 2015-11-11 13:26:10 The Strategic Initiative for Women in the Horn of Africa (SIHA)Deadly Public Order Raid in Umm Dawm On the 14th of October, the Public Order Police (POP) carried out a sweep in Umm Dawm, an area (...)

S. Sudan civil society groups to the 28 states issue to constitutional body 2015-10-08 17:26:10 South Sudan Civil Society Organizations Submission on the Creation of 28 States in the Republic of South Sudan Press Statement For immediate Release 8th October 2015 Following the announcement (...)

Sudan Democracy First Group Statement on The International Day for Democracy 2015-10-01 22:18:58 22 September 2015 Sudan Democracy First Group (SDFG) commemorated on 15 September 2015 the International Day for Democracy, which the United Nations (UN) marks as a day to encourage governments (...)


Copyright © 2003-2015 SudanTribune - All rights reserved.