Eating grass

“The humanitarian disaster that was expected has happened now in virtually all of the countryside. The inhabitants have become beggars desperate to escape the threat of famine by any means,” a correspondent writes Radio Tamazuj from Kauda. “One cannot describe of the intensity of their hunger. It is the first time I have seen people eat grass as greedily as animals.”

Dabi Administrative Unit has two clinics but the treatment options there are extremely limited. It’s been an entire year since any medicine came. The complete lack of proteins and the eating of wild foods could cause digestive problems.

We are now in the middle of the rains, a season of many diseases. If we don’t get medicines then people afflicted by these diseases will die.

South Kordofan is a war zone between the Sudan Armed Forces and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (North). The fighting between the two sides broke out in June 2011. The civilian population is suffering from the economic impact of the conflict, which has caused tens of thousands to flee to South Sudan while others seek refuge in the hills and peaks of the Nuba Mountains or flee to government towns.

The Nuba, who are traditionally cultivators, have been unable to farm their ‘far fields’ in the plains at the base of their mountain hide-outs. The people didn’t farm last season because of the war, the government bombing of agricultural areas, and the poor rains. The Nuba herds have also been diminished by cattle raiding reducing access to a key source of protein and income for buying food.