FLOOD Increased risks expected in the country

Manawa Peter Gatkouth, the Minister of Water Resource and Irrigation

By Nema Juma

South Sudan would experience heavy rains in the next four months putting the Country at a high risk of flooding.

According to the weather forecast released by the National Department of Metrology, the south, southeast, east of central and northern parts of the country were expected to receive above normal rainfall.

The forecast further showed that the west, western parts of central and northwest of the country would receive average to above average rainfall.

The government has warned citizens who are living in floods –prone areas to immediately move to high lands to a distance of at least 300-400m from the rivers in order to protect lives and properties.

Speaking during the joint press conference yesterday, the Minister of Water  Resource and Irrigation Peter Manawa  and his Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management counterpart, Peter Mayen Majongdit said the rains would cause a devastating flooding in the Country.

 “We are greatly concerned and our staffs are monitoring the levels regularly through existing gauge station in Nimule, Juba and Mangala.” Manawa said.

“As we predicted last month, the onset of local rainfall has added more water from tributes causing riverbanks to overflow, this coincidence of flash floods and riverine floods is already creating displacement of population particularly those close to the floods plains of the Nile River.We anticipate devastating impacts,” Manawa said.

He stated that water level records from Juba station showed a sharp increase for a period of the last four weeks in which the water level in Juba reached a maximum of 13.23m on 22nd may 2020.

“Although we saw this receding slightly to 12.01m on 29th may 2020 probably due to stoppage of rain, the forecast for the next four months is alarming as stated earlier,” he said.

Scientists predicted that floods level could reach a new record which was witnessed in 1963.

“ We should not underestimate the consequential environmental and socio- economic impacts, which include among others, water pollution, due to increased sediment load, and soil erosion of the river banks , soil and vegetation loss,” he added

Meanwhile the Minister of Humanitarian affairs and Disaster Management, Peter Mayen Majongdit said that the recent floods in 2019 had a lot of impact in the country.

He said his ministry was mobilizing partners to provide emergency relief items for the affected population.

Mayen added that the present challenges of fighting COVID-19 had constrained people’s ability to fend for themselves, increasing vulnerability, particularly at this time when there is no functional state and local government.

The two ministries appealed to the communities living near the floods prone areas to move to the higher lands at least 300-400m from the river in order to protect lives and properties.

Both ministries urged partners like the World Food Program (WFP) and companies involved in road construction in those areas to provide assistance to local authorities

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