Massive flood causes havoc
By: Elia Joseph Loful
A massive flooding has displaced thousands of people in South Sudan in some parts of the country leaving them homeless, hungry and in need of medical aid.
The destructive floods which started in October came as a result of constant heavy rainfall. Many states have been devastated by the flood and rendered families hopeless and in need of humanitarian assistance.
Media reported that the most affected state was Latjor with 300,000 people being displaced. Over the weekend, Latjor State Governor said he is appealing to the government in Juba and humanitarians organizations to quickly respond to rescue many people who are currently suffering in the state.
The states which are experiencing heavy flooding include Latjor, Terekeka, Boma, Amadi, Torit, Jonglei, Maban county and Abyei administrative area.
United Nations Higher Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said the situation of the flood across the country was alarming describing it as unprecedented condition. The agency reported that over 200,000 people mainly refugees and local population have been affected in Maban County.
Over 200,000 displaced by flood
Unprecedented heavy flooding in South Sudan’s Maban County has affected nearly 200,000 people, including refugees and host population, UNHCR has said.
Located in the Upper Nile State, Maban is home to more than 150,000 refugees from Sudan. According to the UNHCR, South Sudan is on a gradual path to recovery from six years of conflict and now faces flooding that the region has not witnessed in recent decades.
“Refugees and South Sudanese locals fled their homes, carrying their belongings and seen gathering together on little islands of dry ground,” said Adan Ilmi, UNHCR’s Representative to South Sudan, in a statement.
“Flood waters have submerged shelters, making access to the refugee camps difficult for humanitarians. Schools in the region also remain closed.”
The floods have also reportedly impacted access to public services, including hospitals and damaged sanitation facilities– increasing health risks.
UNHCR says it remains concerned that the flooding may increase the risks and spread of diseases. South Sudan was recently declared cholera free last year with the fears that the deadly disease could make a comeback.
Working with its partners and the local authorities is rushing emergency support. People are seeking safety from the flood waters wherever they find dry land, mostly on small islands as unprecedented water levels have submerged vast areas.
The area, near Maban’s capital town of Bunj, is prone to flooding this time of year because of heavy seasonal rains. Excess water from the Ethiopian highlands, where rainfall is becoming more intense and irregular, is also carving its way through neighborhoods in broad, swift rivers.
The affected population is in dire need of humanitarian assistance, the UN refugee agency added.