‘Unyielding floods: Restoring Hope’ is a series of photos by documentary photographer Peter Caton
Devastating floods have left areas of South Sudan constantly flooded, but communities are adapting to the changing climate
Action Against Hunger is holding the free exhibition at London’s gallery@oxo 8 – 19 February
Award-winning photographer, Peter Caton, and international charity, Action Against Hunger, present ‘Unyielding floods; Restoring Hope’, an exhibition. The arresting display of photoshighlights the devastation caused by years of extreme flooding in South Sudan and how local communities are adapting in the face of the climate crisis. The free exhibition is being held at gallery@oxo in the Oxo Tower, London, between 8 – 19 February.
In South Sudan, unyielding floods haveswept away whole villages, destroyed crops, drowned livestock and forced people to flee their homes, leaving families hungry and unable to support themselves. Areas of the country remain submerged. The UN has warned that up to 7.8 million people in South Sudan – two-thirds of the population – may face severe food shortages during this year’s April-to-July lean season, the period between harvests.
Caton started documenting the severe flooding in 2020. He visited the remote and badly hit towns of Paguir and Old Fangak, in Jonglei State, and photographed the villagers as they cleared water from their homes day and night, and desperately searched for something to eat. He returned in 2021 and 2022 to capture the villagers’ resilience, and the climate adaptation projects supported by Action Against Hunger.
Caton said:“It is important to bear witness to the resilience of communities surviving the devastation caused by flooding. They do not get the attention they deserve. Despite doing little to contribute to climate change, they are disproportionately affected by it.
“By returning to the remote communities in South Sudan, I was able to document the ongoing impact of the unyielding floods. I also photographed the vital work of Action Against Hunger to help communities adapt to the changing climate, find a new source of food, and restore hope for their future.”
Action Against Hunger’s research drives forward understanding of how to predict, prevent and treat life-threatening hunger. The charity has been working in what is now South Sudan for more than thirty years; it is one of the few organisations providing lifesaving health and nutrition services in remote areas of the country.
As the floodwater failed to subside, Action Against Hunger helped local communities clear debris from flooded areas. This created waterways to transport food, goods and medical assistance.
Where farms had been submerged and families had lost everything, Action Against Hunger advised the communities to grow rice in the floodwaters so that they could feed their families and have a sustainable food source. For many, it was a crop they had never seen before. The ground-breaking project also promotes gender equity, now for the first-time dozens of women own and cultivate their own farms.
Nyadim, one of the trainees, explained: “Now we know how to grow rice, the community respects us women more.”
Millions of people are suffering from life-threatening hunger across East Africa because the climate is changing. South Sudan is facing devastating floods whilst other countries in the region are facing the worst drought on record.
Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia and South Sudan are on the frontlines of the climate emergency, yet together are responsible for a mere 0.1% of global emissions. Action Against Hunger works with local communities in these countries to introduce lifesaving climate adaptation strategies.
Jean-Michel Grand, Executive Director of Action Against Hunger UK said: “This exhibition is a stark reminder of the link between the climate crisis and life-threatening hunger. Climate change is only getting worse, with droughts and floods becoming more commonplace in East Africa.
“Whilst immediate humanitarian relief is essential, we also need to look at longer term projects to help local communities adapt and thrive despite future climate emergencies
“Our work in collaboration with local communities in South Sudan is testament to exactly that. The UK government has a duty to act now, fund the humanitarian response, and invest in anticipatory action to save lives and prevent future famine.”
Action Against Hunger is offering the exclusive opportunity to purchase Peter Caton’s award-winning photos in South Sudan. The silent auction will run from 9am Wednesday 8 – 5pm Monday 20 February. Visit www.uk.givergy.com/unyieldingfloods to bid or donate. All proceeds go to Action Against Hunger.
The exhibition also includes videos of Action Against Hunger’s work in East Africa and “Hunger Game” an online video game where players experience a day in the life of a young girl in Madagascar, East Africa, and how support can help break the cycle of poverty and life-threatening hunger.
The exhibition is made possible by players of the People’s Postcode Lottery.
Notes to Editors:
- The Exhibition is open to the public from 8 – 19 February at gallery@oxo,Oxo Tower Wharf, Barge House St, London SE1 9PH. Weekdays 11:00 – 18:00 and weekends, 12:00 – 20:00
- Downloadable photos can be found here (captions available upon request) https://actionagainsthunger.brandworkz.com/bms/?link=C5B8C6D6
- For more information or interviews with Peter Caton and Action Against Hunger spokespeople, contact David or Jo [email protected] or 0208293 6130 to arrange.
- Action Against Hunger is the world’s leading charity stopping life-threatening hunger in its tracks. By training parents and healthcare workers to spot the signs, we get life-saving care to people who need it. Action Against Hunger’s research drives forward understanding of how to predict, prevent and treat life-threatening hunger. With unbeatable knowledge and unstoppable determination, the charity supported more than 26 million people across 51 countries in 2021.
- For more information, please visit Action Against Hunger UK’s website or follow Action Against Hunger UK on Twitter and Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.