Ikotos County, Eastern Equatoria
2016 population projection: 123,980
Major population centers: Ikotos Town (Ikoto Payam); Lomohidang North, Lomohidang South and Losite Payams
Major ethnic group: Lango (six sub-tribes: Lokwa, Dongotono, Ketebo, Logir, Imotong, Lorwama)
Economy & livelihoods
Residents rely on both farming and livestock for their livelihoods, with sorghum, sesame and groundnut being the main crops cultivated. The County is part of South Sudan’s Hills and Mountains livelihood zone, where areas of higher elevation experience heavier rains than the Greenbelt zone. However drought is a constant threat in the lowlands. In summer 2015 the County experienced a devastating drought and associated crop failure. By November, an estimated 1,300 people had fled to neighboring Uganda due to food insecurity, according to humanitarian agencies.
Cattle are prized among Lango tribesmen and cattle raids are common between residents and migrating herders. Proximity to Uganda facilitates trade in key products; however, this trade route also leads to greater availability of small arms and increased amounts of alcohol coming into the County. This likely exacerbates ongoing violence between the sub tribes of Lango and with other tribes in neighboring counties. According to a 2009 report by the Small Arms Survey, 63 percent of county households surveyed admitted to owning at least one gun.
IPC projection for Jan-Mar 2016
The County classification is “Crisis” for this time period. According to the Annual Needs and Livelihood Analysis 2014 2015** report, the food security situation in Ikotos had improved within the reporting period, with a surplus of 5,928 tons of cereal in 2015. Adequate rainfall enhanced the regeneration of farmland, which contributed to the improvement.
**A collaborative effort by the Republic of South Sudan, UN agencies and development partners
Dominant Control during conflict: SPLA
Eastern Equatoria state has been largely unaffected by direct SPLA SPLA IO fighting, and Ikotos has seen no direct violence. There are signs however that ongoing intercommunal violence in Ikotos was worsened by the national conflict. There are reports that government security elements are committing human rights violations and worsening intercommunal violence in the process of ostensibly resolving them. For example in February 2016, government forces reportedly burned houses, looted livestock and killed two civilians as part of an operation to recover stolen cattle.
Cattle raiding is also a primary security concern for residents and clashes often occur the dry season over grazing land in the valleys.
Geography & logistics
Hatire, Ikotos, Imotong, Lomohidang North, Lomohidang South, Losite
The Imatong Mountains are located near the County’s border with Uganda. The County is part of the Hills and Mountains livelihood zone, which is characterized by alluvial soils and thick forest vegetation.
One primary road running north out of Ikotos Town, eventually connecting to the Torit Kapoeta road. Conditions are good with the road open to all vehicles, including trailers (>20 metric tons), throughout the year. There is one secondary road running east to Chukudum Town and another running south to the border with Uganda. Conditions on the road to Chukudum town are unknown. The road running south to Uganda is passable only with trucks (<20 metric tons), with unknown seasonal conditions.
All season fixed-wing airstrips
Information last updated: 26/08/16
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