Kandak, a small village in South Sudan’s Jonglei state, eight days walk from the Ethiopian border, has paid a high price for its unfortunate location in the midst of Sudan’s civil wars.
In the early 1990s, as southern Sudanese rebels battled Khartoum’s forces, the war brought starvation to Kandak and the surrounding area. Heavy fighting prevented much humanitarian aid getting in and thousands of people died.
Now, nearly four years after South Sudan gained independence, the people of Kandak yet again find themselves bearing the harsh consequences of nearby conflict.
Since civil war broke out in South Sudan at the end of 2013, Kandak has received thousands of people displaced by the fighting.
The latest influx has hit Kandak hard. Resources were already scarce. A lack of clean water forces the population to drink from muddy pools. Rising malnutrition combined with insufficient health care and the risk of water-borne disease make this a very vulnerable community.
With ongoing fighting in the area and no peace in sight, the humanitarian situation is predicted to deteriorate. Few aid agencies can make it here, to one of the most dangerous and remote parts of South Sudan. It is all a chilly reminder of what led to the devastating famine almost 25 years ago.