Home | News    Saturday 17 November 2007

WFP dropping food to flood victim in Orinyi Upper Nile

By Manyang Mayom

November 16, 2007 (RUMBEK, Sudan) — On Thursday 15, the United Nation World Food Programme (WFP) had began air drop operation in Orinyi town of Malakal Upper Nile State in Southern Sudan to deliver life-saving food assistance to more than 45,000 who have been cut off by heavy rains.

WFP spokesman Mr. Simon Crittle says that WFP will drop food close to 100 metric tone to some 3,000 beneficiaries affected by flooding in Orinyi.

As part of the one – month operation, WFP will drop more than 1,700 metric tones of food to flood affected people spread across 12 locations in Southern Sudan .

Much of Upper Nile especially Orinyi village in Fashoda county was inundated by flooding this year, washing away food stores, drowning livestock and making roads impassable in Orinyi town.

Also local community in Orinyi town of Foshoda compain that although this food is for only two month, it still not enought cover about 3,000 people affected by floods.

WFP Simon Crittle Spokesman, said that this food been dropped today here in Orinyi is only for two month.

The WFP pre-positioned food throughout the South in temporary warehouses earlier this year in anticipation of annual flooding. But heavier rains than usual left thousands beyond reach. Preliminary results of WFP crop assessment of Southern Sudan indicate that flood waters have destroy crops in some communities and that the annual harvest will be impacted. As well as meeting immediate food requirement s in flood – affected communities, the airdrops will compensate for crop losses in the month a head. “Simon said”

WFP has contracted a Ukrainian company at a cost of US$500,000 to operate a jet aircraft, an Illusion 76, to carry out the drops. The plane carries a food payload of 36 metric tones.

This airdrop operation requires a team be on ground at the drop zone as the aircraft passes over. As safety is the first priority, the team uses a high-powered VHF radio to give the pilot the all clear before the food is dropped.

The drop zone is marked by a huge White “X” made from grain sack, and white banners at either end. The plane slows to almost stalling speed and at the precise moment the food is released through door in the belly of the plane. The food basket for the affected communities includes grain, pulses, vegetable oil, and salt and in some cases sugar and corn soy blend.