Gemeiza payam, in Terekeka County, Central Equatoria State of South Sudan rests within one of the regions of the country that has for long experienced displacements as a result of inter-communal violence due to cattle rustling and other communal disputes. This has been worsened by the various instabilities induced by the destructive conflict that has ravaged the country for the last five years.
Rhoda Nyokun is a single mother of five; four girls and one boy. She is among several residents of Gemeiza town, who were forced to flee for their lives to Korsoba village, some kilometers away from the town across the Nile. They were fleeing a devastating violence between her community and a neighboring one, which claimed lives and destroyed several properties early this year.
Back home, Nyokun had a garden from which she got food for the family, she also had a fishing business to earn an income.
For several months now, Nyokun and her family along with some members of her community with whom she fled, are being hosted as displaced persons in a camp within Korsoba village. She and her family were faced with a lot of difficulties surviving then, because they had been displaced many times that they no longer had a source of livelihood to support them.
Nyokun says scarcity of food was severe in the early days of their displacement. Lack of food was at a crisis level. Displaced families were unable to farm or feed livestock while food prices rose significantly.
“We used to go hungry with little to eat in a day,” she said, explaining that she now has a small garden next to her settlement that she is ploughing. She hopes to start planting soon.
Nyokun is one of 7, 252 recipients of assorted food items in our latest round of the World Food Program supported Conditional General Food Distribution program; an emergency response mechanism that is aimed at alleviating immediate hunger and starvation needs of disaster affected communities when they are cut off from sources of food and cannot access enough food to meet their needs.
The CGFD program was rolled out in Terekeka County early this year to combat the hunger crisis that followed the inter-communal violence, but also to encourage the affected communities to restore their previous lives by reconstructing burnt houses and cultivating their farmlands among other activities.
The foods distributed are selected on the basis of their nutritional value, purposely to prevent malnutrition and meet energy needs of the targeted beneficiaries. In the current CGFD activity in Terekeka, the assorted food items distributed include pulses; Sorghum and beans along with vegetable cooking oil and salt.
“The dry season has destroyed every crop,” Nyokun said, “this food I have received will really support me, I am very glad. I am only lacking seeds now to cultivate, but I am happy”.
Some of the people displaced from Gemeiza Town together with Nyokun’s family have since been hosted in other Bomas of Gemeiza, such a Kanyawayi, Gori, Gulubachi and Gemeiza; to all of which the food assortments have been distributed.
Through partnership with WFP, SAADO has managed to save lives of up to 20,365 beneficiaries through the CGFD and created farm assets for the next harvest season.
“We thank WFP for their support in saving lives and building resilience of vulnerable communities in Terekeka,” says Stephen Omondi, SAADO’s Programs Director. “We intend to continue with the joint efforts to reach more vulnerable communities in Terekeka with the assistance.”
The CGFD activity is among three WFP supported Food Security and Livelihood unified programs implemented concurrently by SAADO, two of which are running in Terekeka. The other two include Food for Assets, which focuses on building assets for long term resilience of affected communities; and Food for Education, which aims to provide school meals, promote class attendance and increase retention in schools. Unlike CGFD and FFA which are ongoing in Terekeka, FFE is currently running in Juba alone, but will soon also be extended to Terekeka.
The CGFD program targets 35,500 beneficiaries in Terekeka with food and community based support rendered to children under 5 years and People Living with disabilities.