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Five children reportedly die of hunger in Kapoeta East

Five children reportedly die of hunger in Kapoeta East
The Lopet area inhabited by the Jie in Kapoeta East is facing drought. Photo Credit//AVSI

Five children have reportedly died of hunger in Lopet Payam of Kapoeta East County in Eastern Equatoria state, an official has said.

Families are said to be fleeing the villages due to a lack of access to food.

Last week, Kapoeta East County Commissioner warned of looming hunger after crops failed to yield due to prolonged drought. The area has not experienced enough rainfall this year.

The areas affected include Lotiyan, Mogos, Lochoa, Moruarengan, Napustiria, Jie and Kaatonguni.

Abdallah Lokeno, Kapoeta East County Commissioner told Singaita FM that they have registered a number of deaths due to hunger. Local chiefs told the Commissioner that those who died are mainly children.

“All parts of Kauto, Lotimor, Nanyangachor and other part Lopet, and Kasengor are suffering due to hunger,” he said.

“My people have fled to different directions in search of food because the sun has destroyed their crops,” Area Member of Parliament, Hon. Zakaria Ngoleting confirmed.

He appealed for urgent assistance from humanitarian agencies and the state government.

Some residents of Kapoeta East who fled to Kapoeta town told Singaita FM that the situation is dire due to lack of food and water.

“Five children died when their mothers went to search for food from the neighboring area,” said one resident.

Another resident said: “water is big problem, there is no rain since the beginning  of the year. People cultivated but all in vain, the farms have dried up.”

A mother who fled to Kapoeta town with her children stated that “I brought these children here [Kapoeta] because there is too much hunger. People have fled to Riwoto, Buma, Paringa and Lotiyan. I am urging well-wishers to rescue the Jie where most of the people have nothing left.”

On July 27, Jino Odu Mark, Acting Director General at the State Ministry of Agriculture said the County government will coordinate with aid agencies to find ways of intervention.