A number of malnutrition-related deaths are reported here—this is a glimpse into the catastrophe that is famine:
South Kordofan/Blue Nile Coordinating Unit
Flash update, 17 August 2015
Hunger in Warni-Kau (South Kordofan) and Koma Ganza (Blue Nile)
More than 50,000 persons isolated in pockets of SPLM-N control cut off from the rest of their territory, are suffering a severe lack of food security and health services. At least 20 people have already died from diseases related to malnutrition since June 2015. According to local humanitarian workers, these groups have no access to markets and have limited resources to plant. Due to the lack of rains, many seeds have dried up, disrupting cultivation and creating alarming projections for food insecurity levels in the coming months.
Humanitarian access should be immediately negotiated with the government of Sudan and the SPLM/A-N to avoid a humanitarian catastrophe.
After a challenging trip to the areas of Warni and Kau, the so-called south-eastern Jebel, a team of local humanitarian workers reported an appalling situation with at least three people having died due to malnutrition in the first week of August. Around 37,000 people live isolated in the areas, lacking food and medicines. Since early 2014, the market supply chain to Upper Nile (the state in South Sudan neighbouring the south-eastern corner of South Kordofan) was severely constrained due to the conflict in South Sudan and deteriorated further due to increased fighting in recent months. Recent insecurity forced an estimated 6,000 refugees living across the border in Upper Nile to return to Warni-Kau area, demonstrating how opportunities have dramatically reduced for these people.
People are reportedly eating grass and trees leaves, which causes gastrointestinal problems including vomiting and diarrhoea. Humanitarian workers reported that people have started eating the few seeds available, since drought is disrupting cultivation. This will have dramatic effects on food security in the coming months. Ten people have arrived in Yida (South Sudan) after an 11-day walk, looking for treatment. They confirmed the above reports. Immediate assistance to the populations is essential. Road access from Upper Nile remains impossible due to presence of South Sudan rebels (SPLA-IO).
The around 15,000 Koma Ganza people living in the southern flank of the Yabus river in Blue Nile, are isolated by the river for more than six months a year. As reported by the CU in June, at least 17 deaths due to malnutrition, mainly children and elders, were reported by local sheiks. There is no food in the area. The availability of seeds is limited and drought is affecting cultivation, which will subsequently affect food production in the coming months. During the last assessment in June 2015, 70 people were reportedly suffering from severe hunger and in need of immediate help. Their conditions are now unknown. Distribution of food to those remote areas is paramount.
A bridge on the river that was built during the CPA time is now broken and should be repaired.