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- Famine in South Sudan: a joint FAO/UNICEF/WFP statement21/02/2017
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Seasonal Migration Update
Insecurity and uncertainty along the Sudan-South Sudan border is continuing to hamper the seasonal migration of nomadic livestock owners and their herds. According to FEWSNET and FAO field reports, a large number of cattle owned primarily by the Rezeigat and Messeriya groups in East Darfur and South Kordofan are still unable to cross the Bahr al-Arab River into South Sudan. Similar situations affecting other pastoralist groups are playing out in South Darfur, Blue Nile and Sennar states.
Up until the separation of Sudan and South Sudan, seasonal migrations allowed livestock to access pastures and water sources in the south as resources dried up in the north. However, FAO field officers report that cattle owned by nomadic Fulani herders are migrating into South Sudan through border checkpoints in Blue Nile and Sennar states. The Fulani are reportedly paying heavy fees per head of cattle and sheep. The crossings are taking place only in areas controlled by the government on the Sudan side; there is no monitoring of SPLM North-held border areas.
The concentration of animals in areas with limited pasture and water leads to overgrazing and can have a longer term negative impact on the quality of the pasture. Livestock health can also be affected and the risk of disease outbreak increases. Competition for the limited resources could also spark inter-tribal conflict or violence between herders and farmers.
Emergency Livestock Support
FAO’s livestock specialists have held a three-day training session on the provision of water, feed, health services, shelter and stocking and destocking for livestock caught in emergency situations. The Livestock Emergency Guidelines and Standards training was funded by USAID’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) and was carried out in Wad Medani for government and NGO livestock officers based in South Kordofan, Blue Nile and Sennar states.
With funding from OFDA, FAO has delivered five solar fridges to difficult-to-reach areas in South Kordofan, Blue Nile and Sennar states to safely store veterinary vaccines. At the site in El Dali locality in Sennar, for example, there is no electricity and the area is usually cut-off during the rainy season so the provision of the fridge will mean vital vaccines are always available. Veterinary officers from each state’s Ministry of Agriculture have been trained in maintaining the fridges.