Responding to the Food Crisis in South Sudan

Partners in Compassionate Care has been serving the health needs of Bor County, South Sudan for 10 years, but today we face a new threat—famine.

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3.5 million South Sudanese, or one in three people, face an acute lack of food, according to the United Nations. A widespread famine is looming after violence disrupted farming and food prices soar.

PCC’s board member, Dan Janzen, is on his way to South Sudan once he completes a Farmer to Farmer program in Kitale, Kenya. He will also be visiting potential partner organizations in Uganda and the southern portion of South Sudan. These organizations could be strategic in assisting with agricultural development in Bor County since they are nearby and further along the development path.

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“On the way to western Kenya we passed several huge military trucks which I am told were headed to South Sudan. This war does need to end soon …so that people can return home to farm. Hundreds of thousands of people are cooped up in Displaced Person Camps for security reasons and have already missed their prime chance of planting crops. Many have no seeds or implements with which to farm since many villages were burned and others were looted.”

From mid-September through mid-October, Janzen will be in South Sudan and along with PCC’s farm manager, Michael Maker, will be teaching classes on drip irrigation to help people get through the dry season and produce some food. “We will be teaching a modification of the Chappin drip bucket system so that household water can be used to keep some crops producing. We have 3 miles of drip systems to distribute [donated by Agro-Culture Liquid Fertilizer, a US company based in Michigan] and seed to distribute with the drip tape.”

Janzen plans to conduct a training program in Bor and possibly one in Werkok if there are enough residents. Participants in the training will complete a practicum where they learn how to install the drip systems and also gain some experience in intensive soil preparation and the bio-intensive planting method which will be used to ensure they can stretch the water as far as possible. Janzen says they will also provide partial shade to the plants to take off some of the stress from the scorching 120 degree temperatures that are common during the dry season.

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