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Sudan: When the weather gets bad

Up here at HQ in Rome, everyone runs around with a sad face. Summer is over. We had the first fall rains and thunderstorms. Temperatures dropped by that bit, turning "comfortable" into "chilly" in the evenings... I mean... look at that weather forecast... Only one day of sun in the next 10 days.

What a bunch of whiners we are, though. Weather is an option for us, here in Europe. Not so for millions in the world. While we have the winter approaching, millions of our beneficiaries in Sub Saharan Africa get into the rainy season. For many of our colleagues it has been a race against the clock to pre-position food aid rations in those areas which will be cut off soon. While rivers filled up, wadis became impassable, marshes formed and landing strips flooded, WFP South Sudan, for one, has been pushing the food aid convoys in Jonglei state, up to the maximum.

Mats Persson, who worked in our team up to August, is now in Bor. He sent us some pretty dramatic pictures showing how much of Jonglei state turned into one huge marsh. Witness to the tenacity of WFP, they tried to reach a group of internally displaced people (IDPs) in Lekoungole (Pibor County). The area had seen relatively little rain, so we took the chance. In a matter of days, though, the road between Bor and Pibor was just about impassable. The mission, with eleven trucks and two military escort vehicles, took ten days to reach Manyabol boma, which is about 126 km from Bor town. That is 13 km (less than 10 miles)... per day. Some pictures Mats has sent us. We will think twice before complaining about the weather in Rome.

Photo credit for all photos: Daniel Hezekiah Juka. Senior Security Assistant, WFP Bor Suboffice. With thanks to Mats Persson.