Thursday, August 13, 2009

When there is no water

The rains have failed for two years now in the southeastern part of Sudan, adding to the difficulties of daily life. The villagers must now walk farther and farther each day so that their animals can drink and they themselves can survive.

In neighboring Kenya, ongoing drought has meant a crippling loss of hydroelectric power, with consequent sporadic blackouts of electricity throughout the country, including in its capital, Nairobi. But in Southern Sudan, there are no rolling blackouts--there is a constant blackout. Electricity is rare--and where it exists, it's usually limited to a few hours per day. Fuel to run the generators is prohibitively expensive to purchase and also to transport into Sudan.

The plentiful oil that originates in South Sudan is piped only to the North (where it is sold for wealth and weapons by the government in Khartoum) and has not yet "trickled down" to the villages that still lack the basics for survival.

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