Governor Lobong laments looming hunger in EES

Governor Lobong laments looming hunger in EES
Governor of Eastern Equatoria State Louis Lobong Lojore issues a statement during the opening of the County Commissioners Forum in Torit on November 8, 2021 (photo credit: EES Gubernatorial Press Unit)

The governor of Eastern Equatoria State, Louis Lobong Lojore, has raised an alarm over the looming hunger in Lafon and Kapoeta East counties.

He said the two counties are experiencing severe hunger, which could affect the Lopit community, which is likely to be among the most affected populations in the state.

Some parts of Torit, Budi, and Kapoeta South counties are partially affected, Governor Lobong said.

Addressing the media in his office on Wednesday, Governor Lobong said reports from the chiefs, county commissioners, and the state ministry of agriculture indicated that an unspecified number of people were already starving in those areas.

“These are the counties that have been brought to our attention that are seriously affected. Other counties that are partially affected are Ikotos, Torit, Budi, and Kapoeta South counties, ” said Lobong.

The governor said areas affected experienced drought during the planting season, resulting in frustration among the farmers who failed to harvest this year.

“I cannot tell you the number of people that have been affected… we have informed our partners and they are still preparing their report so that they can declare technically what it is: is it hunger? Is it famine or what is it? As a layperson, what I know is that there is a shortage of food,” he said.

In March, Lafon County’s Member of Parliament to the National Assembly, Victor Omuho, told journalists in Juba that his constituency was experiencing extreme hunger, with worsening health conditions forcing some residents to flee the county.

In April this year, Japan and the United States donated $ 6.5 million and $95 million, respectively, to address the hunger problem in South Sudan.

According to the South Sudan Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) 2021, most parts of the country are facing catastrophic food insecurity (IPC 5). These, among other areas, were the Pibor Administrative Area, Eastern Equatoria, and the Jonglei states.

It indicated that more than half of the country’s population—more than 6.5 per cent—was facing one of the worst hunger crises in South Sudan’s history of existence as a sovereign nation.