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Southern Sudan: Spectacular storm, shame about the flooded tent

Storms here are definitely spectacular. Last night we had a massive storm in Malualkon, a small rural Sudanese town in Southern Sudan, and I discovered the problems with living in a tent in wet season – I got flooded. Even though my tent is on a raised concrete foundation, the angle of the rain meant that it came in the gap between and underneath the flaps. The wind was so strong that it even blew the door open at one point.

Everything was off the floor so the flooding wasn’t a big problem and it quickly dried out this morning. Everywhere in Malualkon there is standing water and I am very grateful for the raised walkways in the compound. When you walk in the mud it just layers up under your shoes until it’s like wearing platforms. It’s also very slippery to walk on. Hopefully tonight will stay dry and still so I can catch up on last nights’ lost sleep.

Aside from the elements, we’re facing obstacles with transportation as well. We are still suffering from a vehicle shortage as we await spare parts. We’re trying to find vehicles to hire in Aweil, but vehicles which are insured, registered and mechanically sound are hard to find here, and consequently under great demand.

The airstrip in Malualkon is also currently closed, as the UN World Food Programme would like it to be fenced to stop livestock wandering onto the runway. They did a test flight today to look at the situation but there are still many issues to be resolved. In the meantime we continue to ferry staff the 1 hour journey to Aweil for the flights from there.

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