For Irin News: A portrait of the village of Kandak, in South Sudan’s Jonglei State.
Eight days walk from the Ethiopian border, Kandak paid a high price during Sudan’s civil wars, in which southerners fought for decades against Khartoum’s forces, leading eventually to an independent state of South Sudan in 2011. In the early 1990s, the war brought starvation to Kandak and the surrounding area. Heavy fighting prevented much humanitarian aid getting in and thousands of people died.
Now, after nearly four years of independence, Kandak yet again faces the consequences of civil war. Since the internal conflict broke out at the end of 2013, Kandak has received thousands of internally displaced people because of fighting taking place not far from the village. Even now very few aid-agencies are active in the area due to the enormous logistical challenges in this, one of the most remote areas in the country.
The new influx of displaced people has hit Kandak hard. More people now have to share scarce resources. Lack of clean water forces the population to from muddy pools. Water-borne diseases are huge challenges, malnutrition is on the rise and lack of healthcare makes Kandak a very vulnerable community.
With ongoing fighting in the area and no peace in sight, the humanitarian situation is predicted to deteriorate. And with no or very little access for humanitarian actors the circumstances today is a chilly reminder of what lead up to the devastating hunger-situation 25 years ago.