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  • Heatwave pushes extreme temperatures and closes schools
  • Refugees returning from Uganda face failed harvest and hunger

‘Here in Kajo Keji, people depend on cassava’ explains Rev. Canon Edward Jale. ‘But because of this heatwave and these terrible temperatures, some of the harvest is already rotten. The plants are already boiled.’

The South Sudanese government has issued advice to citizens on how to manage during a two week long heatwave with temperatures reaching 45 degrees Celsius. As hopes for harvesting rot in the sun, concern is rising for those without enough food.

'They have closed some of the schools in Juba because the extreme heat is too much. It is much hotter this year than in other years. It’s also harming our harvests. Earlier there was only a little harvest because there was too much rain last year. This also destroyed some of the crops. Our prayer is that God will answer us and immediately bring rain so that it cools the weather,’ says Rev. Canon Jale.

'We also pray that people will be supported. Especially those returning from Uganda [who left seeking refuge from violence] when they come back. This heat has destroyed their crops. That is one of the big disasters that we are experiencing. As a church, we are asking that some good Samaritans can come to our aid.'

Tearfund Country Director in South Sudan, Erickson Bisetsa, said:

‘Many people in South Sudan are already vulnerable and struggling with scarcity of food. This heatwave is yet another shock on top of the stresses climate change has brought us, such as flooding, economic instability and conflict. Resources are further stretched as people who had fled to Sudan and to Uganda during periods of unrest here are now returning and have to start again from nothing. We are working not only to save lives, but also to strengthen the resilience of people and households faced with both manmade and weather induced disasters.’

‘This situation and its impact on the availability of food underlines the necessity for us to continue Tearfund’s work supporting communities to adopt climate smart agricultural practices. Meanwhile, there is limited movement, but life continues in Juba despite temperatures soaring to 45 degrees. You don’t see children crossing the roads and heading to school as most schools are closed. The weather is boiling and everyone can feel it.’


Notes to Editors:

Tearfund is a Christian charity that partners with churches in more than 50 of the world’s poorest countries. We tackle poverty through sustainable development, responding to disasters and challenging injustice. We believe an end to extreme poverty is possible. Tearfund is also a member of the Disasters Emergency Committee. For more information about the work of Tearfund, please visit

For further information or interview requests call Esther Trewinnard on +44 (0)7783 409045 or for out of hours media enquiries please call +44 (0)7929 339813.

All photos should be credited to: Tom Price/Tearfund 2024. For higher resolution images, please contact Esther Trewinnard on [email protected] or call +44 (0)7783 409045.

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