Working in South Sudan: a photo story

By CARE Australia August 13, 2014 0 comments

CARE and World Food Programme staff work into the night to record the days activities during a rapid response mission to Pagak in South Sudan’s Upper Nile State. © Dan Alder/CARE

Working in South Sudan holds many challenges for staff to deliver life-saving assistance. A few of them are explained below.

Impassable roads

Delivering aid in South Sudan is a challenging endeavour – the country has very few paved roads and supplies can only be transported by air or boat. During the rainy seasons, many mud paths become impassable, cars are stuck and walking is often the only way to move.

South Sudan from above. There are just a few paved roads throughout the country and other paths, such as the one below get flooded during the rainy season and become impassable. Even though the landscape looks lush and green, many people could not plant in time for the rainy season. 70,000 people displaced by the conflict have found shelter in Uror, many walked for several days of a week to reach Uror. Many came without any possessions, they have very little to eat and they survive with leaves and fruit. Photo Josh Estey/CARE
There are just a few paved roads throughout South Sudan, and paths such as this in Uror county get flooded during the rainy season and become impassable. Around 70,000 people displaced by the conflict have found shelter in Uror. Many walked for several days and came without any possessions. They have very little to eat and they survive on leaves and fruit. Photo: Josh Estey/CARE

 

Transport by air

Insecurity hampers the delivery of aid supplies by boat, and air lifting goods is often the only safe transportation method. During the rainy season, airstrips become flooded and helicopters are the only machines that can land in the mud. Yet the delivery by air is expensive and is restricted in terms of space.

Staff unloaded seeds from a helicopter, which will be distributed by CARE. CARE distributes seeds, such as cowpeas, tomato, eggplant, sesame, sorghum, watermelon and other to 21,000 households in Jonglei, one of the areas most affected by the conflict. The seeds have been provided by the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO). Photo Josh Estey/CARE
Staff unload seeds from a helicopter, which will be distributed by CARE. CARE distributes seeds such as cowpeas, tomato, eggplant, sesame, sorghum and watermelon to 21,000 households in Jonglei, one of the areas most affected by the conflict. Photo: Josh Estey/CARE

 

Lacking electricity

Throughout the remote areas of South Sudan, electricity is delivered by generator, which requires fuel and maintenance. Often, CARE staff have to work in the dark if the generator is not working properly.

WFP and CARE staff work into the night to record the days activities during a rapid response mission to Pagak in South Sudan's Upper Nile State.By Dan Alder
CARE and World Food Programme staff work into the night to record the days activities during a rapid response mission to Pagak in South Sudan’s Upper Nile State. Photo: Dan Alder/CARE

 

Lack of space in crowded camps

Tens of thousands of people have fled the fighting and sought shelter in the United Nations (UN) Protection of Civilian Areas, which are located at the UN compounds. Most aid organisations are working from these compounds to ensure safety for staff and to be close to the displaced people. However, none of the UN compounds were ever designed to hold so many displaced people or aid organisation’s staff.

Wireless acces at Bentiu Protection of Civilian Area (PoC). CARE/Sandra Bulling
Wireless acces at Bentiu Protection of Civilian Area (PoC). Photo: Sandra Bulling/CARE

 

Insecurity

The fighting has put staff at risk and many had to be evacuated from insecure places at the beginning of the conflict. CARE offices have been looted, cars stolen and destroyed. In addition, insecure travel conditions, diseases and the harsh weather conditions put staff’s well-being at risk.

The CARE compound in Uror county. The car has been looted by armed groups and is unusable. The office has no cars, and all work has to be done by foot. Photo: CARE/South Sudan
The CARE compound in Uror county. The car has been looted by armed groups and is unusable. The office has no cars, and all work has to be done by foot. Photo: CARE/South Sudan

 

Lack of funds and equipment

Aid organisations such as CARE lack enough funds to avert a famine – and they lack money to buy the proper equipment. For example, most of the health centres CARE supports across South Sudan lack proper medical equipment, staff and resources.

The operating theatre of the Pariang health clinic has just been opened in April 2014.Before then, all severe cases had to be referred to the town of Bentiu, more than 120 kilometres away. When conflict broke out in South Sudan in December last year, the roads became too dangerous – and CARE established the operating theatre to treat the wounded and those in need of medical assistance. Photo Josh Estey/CARE
The operating theatre of the Pariang health clinic was opened in April 2014. Before then, all severe cases had to be referred to the town of Bentiu, more than 120 kilometres away. When conflict broke out in South Sudan in December 2013, the roads became too dangerous – and CARE established the operating theatre to treat the wounded and those in need of medical assistance. Photo Josh Estey/CARE

Donate to CARE’s South Sudan Emergency Appeal

 

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