Image: Screen capture. UN News Centre. “A WFP barge transporting food supplies on the Nile River. Photo: WFP/South Sudan (file).” UN.org, 29 Dec 2014. Web. Accessed 09 Jan 2015. http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=49696#.VK8xX2eSw_g
The Nile River. A body of water stretching 4,132 miles—the longest river in the world—running through historic locales in Africa. The storied Nile River has been witness to much of human history. It has served as the lifeblood of advanced, ancient civilizations, but has also seen us in conflict and decline through wars, hunger and poverty. It is also seeing us in compassion and determination, as the United Nations World Food Program (“WFP”) reopens a corridor along the river to deliver food shipments to thousands of needy people in South Sudan. Kemplon Engineering reports on this welcome new development.
A Vital Supply Line
The delivery of humanitarian aid via the Nile River is not new, but the route through the Sudan and South Sudan border was closed in 2011 following the latter’s independence. The late 2014 shipments represent the first time in years that the UN was able to use the supply line, and it couldn’t have come at a later time; food security is precarious amidst the region’s hostilities, mass displacement, and the coming dry season. The UN estimates that as many as 2.5 million people could need food aid in the first quarter of 2015.
The initial shipment via Nile River carried 450 metric tons of food, good for about 28,000 people over the next month. 21,000 metric tons more in deliveries are expected. River and road deliveries are preferred because they are more efficient than air shipments, which cost about six to seven times as much.
We at Kemplon Engineering are heartened by the news that food can now be delivered to the needy in South Sudan. Our world’s waters have always been a source of life— from here do we get potable water, conduct livelihood activities such as fishing and agriculture, and from here do we connect with other people and conduct trade and cultural exchange. Rivers and other bodies of water are the veins that bring lifeblood to communities, and food aid delivered through them continues that vital tradition.
^ Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc. “Nile River.” Britannica.com. Web. Accessed 09 Jan 2015. http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/415347/Nile-River
^ Moftah, Lora. “South Sudan Crisis: UN Uses Nile River Border Crossing To Deliver Food Aid Amid Threat Of ‘Hunger Catastrophe’.” International Business Times, 29 Dec 2014. Web. 09 Jan 2015. http://www.ibtimes.com/south-sudan-crisis-un-uses-nile-river-border-crossing-deliver-food-aid-amid-threat-1768986
^ “South Sudan: UN boosts food assistance as ‘very critical’ Nile corridor reopens.” UN.org, 29 Dec 2014. Web. Accessed 09 Jan 2015. http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=49696#.VK8xX2eSw_g