World Food Day: How a South Sudan community is adapting in the face of the climate crisis

Action Against Hunger are working with local communities to help them build their own sustainable rice paddies after flooding destroyed their homes and crops

Staff at Action Against Hunger
Sunday 16 October 2022 12:48 BST
<p>Nyalith Tot, 31, takes rice from the nursery to be replanted in the paddy</p>

Nyalith Tot, 31, takes rice from the nursery to be replanted in the paddy

An unprecedented cycle of climate disasters in South Sudan threatens more than 8 million people with acute food insecurity. Over 900,000 people are affected by floods across 29 counties in South Sudan, this includes Paguir in Jonglei State.

On World Food Day, Action Against Hunger is sharing the story of the community of Paguir, who have adapted in the face of a climate emergency by growing one of the ultimate food staples – rice – in floodwater.

Nyathor Dor, Nyamai Duoth, Nyayiela Nyuon, take rice from the nursery to be replanted in the paddy

Martha Nyakueka Dak is one of the original four people trained by head of base in Paguir Joe Joe Zubhayea on how to cultivate rice

Nyawa Kulang, 50, (centre) plants rice at the paddy

Floods destroyed homes and crops, with sustenance taking the form of water lilies which did not tackle the hunger problem. Despite the floodwater, which had seemingly cut the community off from the rest of the world, rice could still grow in the water and be harvested quickly for bountiful supplies of food.

Women and the community youth were taught by Action Against Hunger to build their own sustainable rice paddies, promoting gender equity and reducing violence amongst the youth respectively.

Martha Nyakueka Dak will teach the rest of the villagers

Rice is ready to be broadcasted on the freshly cleared land

Nyakieth Kulang, 22, pounds the rice to remove the husk

Nyakieth Kulang: “Rice is great because it can be cooked properly. Just some minutes and children will be ready to eat.”

“The climate crisis has taken everything away from the people of Paguir and Old Fangak in South Sudan, but their determination to rise above floodwaters is a powerful story of climate resiliency,” said Action Against Hunger’s South Sudan Country Director, Sulaiman Sesay.

It has saved local lives and safeguards them for the future as flooding in the country continues.

We urgently need to find news ways to address the issue of hunger today, with a focus on sustainability as well as adaptability and is why Action Against Hunger is working with communities such as the one in Paguir.

Nyaruot Gatluak, 24, plants rice at the Action Against Hunger rice paddy in Paguir

Nyamokah Duoth, 26, plants rice at the Action Against Hunger rice paddy in Paguir

Paid volunteers identified by Action Against Hunger stand beside the rice paddy that they planted that day

Nyaok Dieng,34, laughs while holding the rice paddy sign

Find out more about Action Against Hunger’s work here

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