South Sudan – 380,000 Affected by Floods in 6 States

The United Nations reports that ongoing floods in South Sudan have affected over 380,000 people across 6 states, with more heavy rains and flooding expected.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said thousands of people have been affected by flooding in areas along the river Nile, Sudd wetlands and the Lol and Sobat rivers since May this year.

The flooding has worsened in recent weeks however. Seven people died in floods in Unity State in late July. By early August flooding affected a total of 90,000 people.

Since then the figure has jumped to 380,000 with flooding reported in 20 counties in the states of Unity, Jonglei, Northern Bahr el Ghazal, Warrap, Upper Nile and Western Equatoria.

The hardest hit areas are in Unity State, where a total of 149,000 people are affected, and Jonglei with 134,000 affected. OCHA said early seasonal rains caused rivers to overflow their dykes and banks, flooding vast areas and settlements, with more heavy rains and flooding expected in the coming months. Many of the flood-affected people moved to higher grounds within their county, and plan to return home once the flood waters recede.

Humanitarian partners are responding to the needs of the flood-hit communities and providing essential supplies such as food, emergency shelter, WASH services and hygiene kits, health and nutrition supplies and services, protection services and dignity kits, and fishing kits for livelihood support.

“A coordinated humanitarian response scale-up in the most affected states of Jonglei, Unity, Northern Bahr el Ghazal and Warrap was initiated to respond to the increased needs of people affected and displaced by the flood waters. Rapid needs assessments have been conducted in eight of the affected counties between May and August and partners are now responding to the immediate needs of the flood-affected people, with more assessments planned and efforts ongoing to reach remote areas,” OCHA said.

Severe flooding affected over 600,000 people in the country from August to September last year. Many have been unable to return home since. According to the UN, some 100,000 people, mostly from Twic East in Jonglei who were displaced by the 2020 floods still have not returned home and are sheltering in the Bor and Mangalla IDP camps, and in Mingkaman.

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Featured photo: Floods in Bor Town, Jonglei, South Sudan, August 2020. Credit: UNHCR