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Regina from South Sudan: 'I watched as our food washed away.'

Regina John is mother of four children. A year ago, her husband passed away. Now she is on her own. Due to floods, she lost all the crops that were almost ready to harvest. Now she is concerned about getting enough food for her children every day.

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Harvests fail due to climate change

Regina in South Sudan: 'I was about to harvest my crops when the floods washed everything away.'

Hunger spreads across South Sudan. Regina lives in Pibor, one of the worst hit provinces. She struggles to keep her head above the water. “I'm on my own because my husband passed away last year from a snake bite. It is a daily struggle to feed my four children.”

Move house

The village of Regina is a boat trip away from the central market area in the capital of the province of Pibor. But Regina's house isn't in the same spot it was last year. Due to the flooding, she had to tear down her house and build it on a higher spot. It's not the first time. Regina: "Because we've been suffering from severe flooding for three years, I've had to move my house three times."

Although she was able to move the family house in time, the crop the family so desperately needed was lost. Regina: "The crops were about to be harvested when the floods came and washed everything away." Without being able to harvest anything, but with four small children to be fed, they looked for ways to survive. “We collected firewood to sell it on the market. But sometimes we had nothing to eat for two or three days. Once I was so hungry that I tightened my stomach with a belt to have enough strength to look for wood. I had to leave my baby alone in the house.”


Regina's husband died of a snake bite. She explains: “Due to the floodings, we have more problems with snakes that also visit higher areas. I am very sad that my husband passed away. It makes the our crisis even worse. I have no one to help me support our family.”

ZOA helps Regina's family during this difficult time by giving her new seeds. In addition, she also learns how to plant multiple crops that are more resistant to flooding. “ZOA gave us vegetable seeds, such as okra, tomato and aubergine. These crops are stronger and can withstand the floods. Thanks to these vegetables we can survive. If I had only sowed corn and sorghum, I would have had nothing. Then my life would have been much more terrible.”

Regina holding her baby


Regina is also a member of a local savings group that ZOA has set up to help communities build financial resilience. “When I had no food, I could borrow money, which I later repaid. But unfortunately the situation is so bad right now that no one has any money to invest.”

With incredible resilience, people like Regina try to keep their heads above water, sometimes literally. In regions where people normally already have to struggle to find enough food for their families, the floods are disastrous. Regina: "We face many challenges and without help we will not make it. I want to ask people to pray for us. Especially for my baby." Regina's 11-month-old baby, Amajur, is malnourished and his health is deteriorating by the day. "I pray that God will intervene."

More about ZOA's work in South Sudan