Lafon residents flee hunger

Residents of Lafon County in Eastern Equatoria State are fleeing the area due to hunger, an official has said.

There are 106, 161 people in the county, according to the 2010 census. The Lafon inhabitants depend on food production and livestock.

Commissioner Magisto Ukach Agweri says the residents did not grow food last season due to poor rainfall, worsening the already dire situation.

“Families are now living the county. I don’t know what the situation will be in the coming months,” Ukach told Singaita FM.

He appealed to the concerned government institutions and humanitarian groups to help, saying the situation will worsen soon unless something is done immediately.

“We are appealing to all the aid organizations to help us just with something little – something that could stabilize this community for a least two months to enable them to farm,” the commissioner stated.

Though he could not ascertain the number of families that have fled starvation, Ukach said the vulnerable people have headed to the nearby Central Equatoria State.

Generally, South Sudan is simultaneously drowning and drying as the climate crisis tightens its grip, according to the UN World Food Program. An unprecedented flooding crisis has swallowed large swathes of the country while other parts are grappling with devastating drought.

It says two-thirds of the population – over 7.7 million people – are facing crisis or worse levels of hunger. This is the highest number ever, surpassing that seen even at the height of the country’s civil war.

Four consecutive years of record flooding has led to widespread displacement, the destruction of livelihoods and the loss of arable land – contributing to rising hunger. The effects of these concurrent climate shocks are compounded by rising food and fuel prices and ongoing conflict.