Daily Maverick (Johannesburg)

South Sudan: What Happens When the Rains Come Down?

analysis

If you think South Sudan is in bad shape now, think again. It could get worse. A lot worse. In May, the rainy season begins, and the country is hopelessly unprepared for the deluge.

Whichever god you believe in, he was in a good mood the day he created South Sudan. Aside from the huge reservoirs of oil upon which the country sits, it boasts vast swathes of some of Africa's most fertile soil, a gentle, forgiving tropical climate and a rainy season which arrives like clockwork every May - not to mention year-round sunshine.

Unlike in the harsh desert scrublands further north in Sudan proper, food grows here, in abundance. No one should go hungry.

Humans, however, have a strange way of squandering their good fortune. South Sudan, for all its natural blessings, is on the brink of famine - and it only has itself to blame.

This May, when the rains come down, few farmers will have planted seeds in preparation. Still fewer will remain on their land to till and reap and profit from a plentiful harvest. And, in the unlikely scenario that the country does produce enough food to feed its population of ...

Ads by Google

Copyright © 2014 Daily Maverick. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.