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FLOOD-renders over 400, 000 people homeless

By James Atem Kuir

At least 443,235 people are now known to have been uprooted from their habitats in Jonglei state and Greater Pibor Administration Area by flood waters as a result of heavy rains and overflow of the Nile.

According to Greater Jonglei Relief and Rehabilitation Commission’s monthly floods report for October, eleven counties have been submerged under water with the counties along the Nile bearing the heavier brand of the disaster.

During a two days UNICEF sponsored trip to Bor town, RRC Director Gabriel Deng Ajak described the situation of flood as catastrophic with thousands of people moving out of their homes daily while hundreds more stay stranded without means of transport.

“The humanitarian situation across the state has been so catastrophic as we speak, nine counties plus two counties in Greater Pibor have been all flooded and if we go by numbers, more affected are those along the Nile because flooding this year is not just rain water, it is has been caused by combination of rain water and the over flow of the Nile,” Ajak explained.

He added that more people continue to leave their homes everyday as floods continue to invade their villages destroying their belongings.

Most of the population has moved to Mingkaman in Lakes state, Mangalla in Central Equatoria while thousands more are being hosted at four IDPs collection centers in drier areas in Bor South County, particularly in Taragok, Pabial, Kondai/Gakyom and Malualagorbar.

He said severe hunger will likely hit the affected areas after the flooding recede because of anticipated poor harvest as a result of floods.

“The impact will be quite catastrophic because it has damaged houses, it has submerged crops, people have cultivated very well at beginning of the rain season but now we do not anticipate any single harvest…this is something that we really need to put into consideration as we plan ahead of time because the post-flooding situation will be worse than actual flooding,” he said.

Ajak added the current flooding was last experienced in the sixties and may take at least three years for the floods to completely recede.

A week ago, 13 people were reported to have died of starvation in Greater Pibor Administrative area over a period of two weeks.

He stated that RRC and partners have been faced with absence of local government to coordinate timely humanitarian respond in the eleven affected counties.

Jonglei State and Greater Pibor have also been hit hard by inter-communal violence that killed hundreds and displaced more prompting President Kiir to issue a state of emergency over the humanitarian in August.

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