South Sudan Forests Have Died August 2023

Three years underwater, four years of flooding: the crops failed, the cows are gone, and now the forests have died. This year we saw the passing of our forests. It was truly a shock to all of us. We knew that most farmers would not have harvest, that cows could not graze with their heads underwater. But no one expected the trees would disappear. It was with a sense of wonder – and horror – that we witnessed the loss of the forest this year.

Trees, so important to the life of the Nuer. Trees give structure to fences; they suspend mud and thatch to form huts for shelter. They break the wind, and stop prairie fires which threaten to destroy crops and homes. You Ee your calf to a post while its mama cow wanders off to graze in the forest. You hang your food cache in a tree, shelter from the brutal sun under a tree to chat. Birds have somewhere to perch.

And what about fuel for cooking, or poles to pound the grain? What about gathering wood to sell, or to make charcoal for the markets?

I’m told you can braid dry grass for fuel. Maybe more people will grow bamboo to build homes. Nuer are resilient.

REMEMBERING LIFE WITH THE FORESTS – WE THOUGHT THEY’D NEVER END But our trees did die.

What is the history? In the early 1960s, water in Lake Victoria remained at record high levels for four or five years. Trees in Sudan’s Upper Nile died. More than 20 years later, when we came to Upper Nile with MSF during the kala azar epidemic, trees had grown back again. This year’s flooding exceeded previous records by more than two meters. Is this global warming? Will our trees return?

South Sudan Christmas 2023

As nights grow longer in the northern hemisphere, we find more quiet time to count our blessings. One of them is our original world wide web, made up of friends who offer so many forms of support for this work. It began long before anyone had heard of the internet....

South Sudan Twins and Orphans August 2023

SUDDENLY WE HAVE A NEW PROJECT: TWINS AND ORPHANS!!! So you, as a Nuer woman, gave birth to your baby. Cows are your blood line, your kindred spirits. That means babies are nourished with at least a little cow milk to supplement their mom’s. Without cows, babies do...

South Sudan The Fall of Khartoum August 2023

In 2019, a popular uprising in Khartoum unseated Sudan’s dictatorial President Omar al-Bashir. Sudan’s bright hope for civilian rule dwindled in recent years. Then, on April 15, without warning, Khartoum awoke to massive military chaos. A general who had been Bashir’s...

South Sudan Tuberculosis Treatment August 2023

Twenty-three years ago, we launched the Sudan Tuberculosis Project. Since our patients stay for 6 to 12 months of directly observed therapy, TB remains our largest program. It is a bit scary to have so many TB patients crowded into our increasingly crowded town. But...

South Sudan Out Patient Services August 2023

Dr. James Wal (who almost died from childhood kala azar) helps supervise care of 1000 outpatient visits monthly. 56% female (We see more female paJents in all age groups.)13% under 5 years32% 5-15 years55% adults This age distribution includes complex patients, those...