Food Security in South Sudan
Rose Oliver, pictured on 8 August 2014, says she fled fighting in Juba in December 2013, and moved to the village of Kudo in Eastern Equatoria where she has relatives. She relates that, “There was a little bit of food, and we ate it all, and we had to buy from the market with money. We would buy just one bowl [of sorghum] and it's SSP 7.00. We would make small portions and it would last us seven days. Of course it's not enough, but we would drink water and it will fill the stomach.” She buys sugar on credit and uses it to brew alcohol which she sells to earn an income: “I don't have any other job, so where else can I get money?” Rose is illiterate, saying, “I didn't learn to write because I got married very early, at around 12. I got pregnant, so we went together [she and her husband] to Khartoum.” She relates that her husband was much older; she was his third wife. He has since passed away.
Due to a combination of drought in some parts of the country, the ravages of pests in others, and instability caused by war, many South Sudanese are facing acute food shortages and possibly famine.
To improve her chances of producing a viable harvest during the coming growing seasons, Rose received two 2kg of sesame seeds, one bucket of unshelled groundnuts, and 2kg of sorghum during a Plan International distribution. She has already planted the sesame and groundnuts, and will plant the sorghum in August, hoping for a good harvest in early 2015.