I had this short field trip was actually a month ago when I covered the visit of the newly appointed UNMIS Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General (DSRSG) of Humanitarian Affairs, GC, in Southern Sudan including Malakal and Dolieb Hill, the nearest village of Malakal.
In Dollieb Hill, DSRSG visited medical centres, refugees’ way station, clean water project and the market… Yeah, I was particularly interested in Dollieb Hill market, it was impressive for a small village!
The main livelihood in Dollieb Hill is fishing and farming. These IDPs are supported by Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in doing “coping mechanism” where they will be fishing during dry season and cultivating on the rainy season. They have done this in order to survive, at least they won’t be having food shortages.
They also sell some of their fish and vegetables in the local market. They have small market opened everyday a long the Nile River. I was very impressed with the variants that they sell. I saw fresh fish from the Nile, sun-dried fish, green vegetables, tomatoes, onions, ocras, and even chicken eggs! The conditions of those vegetables were fresher than what I found in Malakal because they grew those vegetables in their own farms.
I was happy to know these IDPs can survive in the land of stranger by providing their own food. They knew that they can’t count on food distribution from UN agencies and/or non-govermental organizations forever. They have to find a way to survive until they are able to return to their homeland.