The Nile is worshiped as a god in Egypt and is also a common practice among the Muɔnyjäŋ and the Nääth (Nuɛr) to sacrifice animals to the gods or God who created the Nile. The culture along the Nile is influenced by its presence. There are international treaties that govern the distribution of the Nile's waters. All these features make the Nile that special place and i am privileged to have been born and raise a long the Nile. When i was young, i took this beautiful place for granted but when i returned this past December having been away for 22 years, i felt in love with the place and i told my family and people in my village how lucky they are to live along the Nile.
When the Muɔnyjäŋ and the people of Southern Sudan talk about the Nile, they are referring to the Sudd-the largest swamp in the world. This special place is called the Toc (toch). The picture below was borrowed from trekearth and you click on this link to see the original picture
This picture gives you a glimpse of the vastness of this swamp. The papyrus is a special plant that grows in the Sudd (Toc) and it sustains life for the wild and domesticated animals. According to the information found in encyclopedia, the Sudd stretches from Mongalla to just outside the Sobat confluence with the White Nile just upstream of Malakal as well as westwards along the Bahr el Ghazal . The shallow and flat inland delta lays between 5.5 and 9.5 degrees latitude North and covers an area of 500 km south to north and 200 km east to west between Mongalla in the south and Malakal in the north.
Its size is highly variable, averaging over 30,000 square kilometers. During the wet season it may extend to over 130,000 km², depending on the inflowing waters, with the discharge from Lake Victoria being the main control factor of flood levels and area inundation. A main hydrological factor is that Sudd area, consisting of various meandering channels, lagoons, reed- and papyrus fields, loses half of the inflowing water through evapotranspiration in the permanent and seasonal floodplains . The picture below describes stretches of the Sudd in Southern Sudan. Click this link to see the original article and picture http://www.utdallas.edu/geosciences/remsens/Nile/sudd.htmlIn the rainy season the Sudd can expand to an area the size of all of England. In addition to the abundant plant life, there are a wide variety of animals that live in the marsh including many types of birds, fish, hippos, and of course mosquitoes which thrive in the warm, saturated air. The high water saturation in the air and fast expanse of marsh means that by the time the Nile exits the Sudd, it has slowed tremendously in speed and has lost a large amount of water to evaporation. There have been plans proposed in the past to create a channel for the Nile that bypasses the Sudd and allowing more water to make it to the river downstream in the deserts of northern Sudan and especially to Egypt. This would mean, however, the loss of habitat for the rich abundance of plant life in the area as well as the way of life for the Muɔnyjäŋ, the Nuɛr, the Mundari,the Shilluk and many others who live along and amongst the reeds and need the animals, plants, and water to survive.
When i visited Southern Sudan in December 2009, i took couple pictures while i was traveling down the Nile. The Nile was beautiful and many activities were going on on there. People were growing crops, cattle camping, fishing, and canoeing in the Nile. Enjoy the pictures.
This was me walking among the reeds
My brother and my nephew posed for a picture while enjoying a motor boat ride.
Kids in the cattle camp came to watch our boat as we pass by many cattle camps in the Sudd or Toch.
Our boat in the shallow cannal
Giving some fishermen a ride on our boat
A soldier enjoying the ride near Bor town
women trekking in the reeds
Birds also nest in among the reeds
The swamp and the reeds
The Sudd or the Toic does not belong to the reeds and wild animals , the islands are fertile and crops can grow without much work. In this picture you can see the corn growing comfortably without irrigation in the middle of the dry season. There is a lot of potential for food production all year round. SUDEF tries to invest in people so they can exploit the resources that lay in abundance around them. For now visit SUDEF at www.sudef.org and learn more.