Friday, August 1, 1980

Visit to Norwegian Church Aid (NCA) at Hiliu

Hiliu & Torit, Sudan

This morning we left Imatong Bible College.  We stopped at Norwegian Church Aid (NCA) headquarters in Hiliu.  The agriculturalist was not in.  Brian and I gook a self guided tour around Hiliu, looking at agricultural and intermediate technology projects.  A man at NCA's shop explained to us how to remove the lock mechanism on the Land Rover's ignition system.  I wonder if that will be my job?

We had lunch at the home of Dr. Hedda (spelling?), the medical coordinator for NCA.  After we ate with him, he went to Torit with to give us chairs for the Imehijek dispensary.  The chairs were at the cooperative's office.  The coordinator of the cooperatives from NCA was there, so Lanny asked him about getting grain.  We were able to get three bags with the money Lanny and had between ourselves. (The NCA cooperative director said that one bag weighs 90 kilograms.)  The cost was about 22 Sudanese pounds per bag.  I am glad we were able to get the dura (grain sorghum) at such a low price for the people in Lohutok.  The coordinator talked with us a bit about their problems.  One problem is that people getting dura for their areas are having to deal in thousands of pounds of cash, something they are not used to doing.  There is the problem that the dura could be stolen before delivery or the cash could be stolen while the person responsible was carrying it to Torit.  One group did not have cash to buy dura, but could trade bulls for it.  NCA wanted bulls for training as draft animals, so they agreed to the trade.  When asked if they wanted a police escort to Torit, the people said "No, we can do a better job ourselves."  They supplied their own armed guards with automatic rifles for the walk to Torit.

Note:  See photographs of NCA projects at entry dated 16 July 1980

At Hiliu, I read in Sudanow that the government took the Taposa's cattle, hoping to use that as leverage to get the Taposa to turn in their automatic rifles.  The Taposa have apparently been trading gold found over in the Kapoeta District for the rifles.  The Taposa say the army men sold their cattle to nearby tribes, so now they are making raids to get back their cattle.  The Lotuho were mentioned as major recipients of these cattle.  The article said that the Lotuho and other tribes are arming themselves.  I have heard that in one instance some Turkana and/or Taposa took on the army and killed four soldiers including a major.  Another time the army had a Taposa camp surrounded to get their guns when the Taposa opened fire on them.