Wau Shilluk

Last updated
Wau Shilluk
  President Salva Kiir Mayardit
550 m (1,800 ft)
Time zone UTC+3 (East Africa Time Zone)

Wau Shilluk is a village of 50,000 located in the Upper Nile state of South Sudan. Many who reside in Wau Shilluk are IDPs in need of refuge due to the recent civil war which has ravaged much of the land. Living conditions in the town are grim. Many of the residents live in small tents constructed from tarps. During the rainy season they live knee deep in water leading to contamination and recently a cholera outbreak. Along with the problems of flooding and poor housing, the populace also faces the threat of severe malnutrition. Farmers displaced by the civil war have been unable to planet crops leading to a food shortage in the country. [1] Many of the people now rely on food distributed by UNICEF and the United Nations, however it does not seem to be enough and Shilukians explain they are unable to feed their entire family. Food imported by these groups is often looted by soldiers and rebels before it is able to make it to the civilians. It's estimated nearly 50,000 South Sudanese children will be lost this year unless food is properly distributed throughout the land. [2] Many humanitarian groups are calling for more food and supplies in order to aid the situation. Unfortunately more aid will not be given until an official famine declaration is made. In 2015 several school children were kidnapped by forces loyal to Johnson Olony with the intention of their being forced to serve in the armed forces. [3]

Upper Nile (state) state of South Sudan

Upper Nile was one of the ten states of South Sudan. The only governor of Upper Nile since the independence of South Sudan was Simon Kun Puoch The White Nile flowed through the state, giving it its name. The state also shared a similar name with the region of Greater Upper Nile, of which it was part along with the states of Unity and Jonglei. It had an area of 77,823 square kilometres (30,048 sq mi). Malakal was the capital of the state. The town of Kodok, the location of the Fashoda Incident that ended the "Scramble for Africa", was located in the state. Upper Nile seceded from Sudan as part of the Republic of South Sudan on 9 July 2011.

South Sudan country in Africa

South Sudan, officially known as the Republic of South Sudan, is a landlocked country in East-Central Africa. The country gained its independence from the Republic of the Sudan in 2011, making it the newest country with widespread recognition. Its capital and largest city is Juba.

Internally displaced person

An internally displaced person (IDP) is someone who is forced to flee his or her home but who remains within his or her country's borders. They are often referred to as refugees, although they do not fall within the legal definitions of a refugee.



South Sudan declared their independence from Sudan in 2011 with hopes of peace and independence. However, the past three years have been filled with internal fighting and increased poverty. Fighting has removed thousands of people from their homes. Many of these refugees are now residing in Wau Shilluk; which was not ready for the sudden influx. Due to inadequate sewage and drainage systems, the recent rainy season has flooded the fresh water reserves with waste; prompting a cholera outbreak. Cholera is an infection of the intestine which gives the afflicted diarrhea. If not treated, cholera can be fatal within hours. During July 2014 Medecins Sans Frontieres teams in Upper Nile state treated 904 patients for cholera. [4] As of August 10, 2014 there were 894 cases reported with 17 deaths In Wau Shilluk South Sudan due to cholera, today the Mott is providing health care with support from IMA world health through the Rapid result fund. [5]

Cholera Bacterial infection of the small intestine

Cholera is an infection of the small intestine by some strains of the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. Symptoms may range from none, to mild, to severe. The classic symptom is large amounts of watery diarrhea that lasts a few days. Vomiting and muscle cramps may also occur. Diarrhea can be so severe that it leads within hours to severe dehydration and electrolyte imbalance. This may result in sunken eyes, cold skin, decreased skin elasticity, and wrinkling of the hands and feet. Dehydration can cause the skin to turn bluish. Symptoms start two hours to five days after exposure.


The Wau Shilluk inhabit Southern Sudan with a population of about 500,000, majority of them have converted over to Christianity, while little follow traditional religion, and even small numbers have converting to Islam. [6]

Christianity is an Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, as described in the New Testament. Its adherents, known as Christians, believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and savior of all people, whose coming as the Messiah was prophesied in the Old Testament.

Islam is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion teaching that there is only one God, and that Muhammad is the messenger of God. It is the world's second-largest religion with over 1.8 billion followers or 24% of the world's population, most commonly known as Muslims. Muslims make up a majority of the population in 50 countries. Islam teaches that God is merciful, all-powerful, and unique, and has guided humankind through prophets, revealed scriptures and natural signs. The primary scriptures of Islam are the Quran, viewed by Muslims as the verbatim word of God, and the teachings and normative examples of Muhammad.

The Shilluk language is uniformly spoken throughout all half million of these people. The country is broken up into north (Gar) and south (Iwak); within the north and south there are around 100 different ethnic clans or groups.

Shilluk is a Luo language spoken by the Shilluk people of South Sudan and Sudan. It is closely related to other Luo and Nilotic peoples' languages. The term Shilluk is a pronunciation of Arabic origin.

Agriculture is a way of life for these people where main crops consist of harvesting and consuming beans, simsim, maize, and sorghum. The Shilluk have thrived on fishing in the Nile River and surrounding tributaries fueling their diet of eating seafood.

Sesame species of plant

Sesame is a flowering plant in the genus Sesamum, also called benne. Numerous wild relatives occur in Africa and a smaller number in India. It is widely naturalized in tropical regions around the world and is cultivated for its edible seeds, which grow in pods or "buns". World production in 2016 was 6.1 million tonnes, with Tanzania, Myanmar, India, and Sudan as the largest producers.

Maize Cereal grain

Maize, also known as corn, is a cereal grain first domesticated by indigenous peoples in southern Mexico about 10,000 years ago. The leafy stalk of the plant produces pollen inflorescences and separate ovuliferous inflorescences called ears that yield kernels or seeds, which are fruits.

<i>Sorghum</i> genus of plants

Sorghum is a genus of flowering plants in the grass family Poaceae. Seventeen of the 25 species are native to Australia, with the range of some extending to Africa, Asia, Mesoamerica, and certain islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. One species is grown for grain, while many others are used as fodder plants, either cultivated in warm climates worldwide or naturalized, in pasture lands. Sorghum is in the subfamily Panicoideae and the tribe Andropogoneae.

Culture, morals are passed on orally from generation to generation, which is why majority of traditions have been lost. One tradition not lost is marriage, which is the main goal in the lifetime of the Shilluk. It is an old fashion approach where word of mouth slowly reaches the ears of those dominant in the family. The finalization of the marriage entails a price of 10 cows or 30 sheep and goats to the family of the bride.

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Shilluk people ethnic group

The Shilluk are a major Luo Nilotic ethnic group of Southern Sudan, living on both banks of the river Nile, in the vicinity of the city of Malakal. Before the Second Sudanese Civil War the Shilluk also lived in a number of settlements on the northern bank of the Sobat River, close to where the Sobat joins the Nile.

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Shilluk Kingdom kingdom from c. 1490 to 1865, located along the banks of the White Nile river in modern South Sudan

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  1. "South Sudan Famine".
  2. "South Sudan Famine and Malnutrition".
  3. "Gov't to Release 89 Abducted Children".
  4. "South Sudan Humanitarian Response" (PDF).
  5. "Cholera Claiming Lives in Upper Nile State".
  6. "Shilluk".