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E. Equatoria warns of hunger in most of the counties after poor harvest

Dried crops

By Adia Jildo

Eastern Equatoria State (EES)Agriculture Minister, Placid Komakech Koks said a good number of areas in the state would face starvation after poor harvest last year due to the climate change.

In a phone interview with Juba Monitor yesterday, Koks said delayed rains and heavy downpours when combined with insecurity in some areas led to poor yield in 2021.

The official blamed the climate change for the change in the rain patterns, adding that people were already starving just as the last year ended.

                       

“People are starving and people will be starving. There is no food in the area and I don’t know what they will survive on,” Koks said.

“Where people have planted more sorghum and millet, it was disrupted by the rain not coming in time.  Later when the rain started falling, it was already late for cultivation, and it rained too much that it destroyed a lot of crops which made many people not to have good yields,” he added.

Kokssaid the state has now experienced poor harvest for the third time after desert locusts invaded the state and destroyed farmsin 2019 and 2020.

“2019-2020, the locust had invaded in the area. You know when locusts pass over an area, the yield will not be good,” he said.

He however noted that few areas have managed to produce food enough for few months.

“Few areas like the area of Lobone, Palwar, Obbo, Katire, and Anyila have produced little food because they only plant maize and they have two seasons but the rest in Eastern Equatoria, there is no food in the area and there will be no food. I don’t know how they will survive,” Koks said.

“We were supposed to have a very good yield but we were interrupted by the current weather change. Everything has actually changed and nothing has come out good,” Koks added.

He called on the government and humanitarian organizations to respond to the need of the people affected by the change in weather.

“We don’t know what is going to be the situation of the rainy season this year, it might start early and end early or even start late and end at the mid of the season. It’s hard to predict now,” he said.

Aid group recently estimated that up to 8 million people who have been affected by a number of disasters will face hunger in 2022.

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