South Sudan – Floods Affect Over 900,000 Says UN

Flooding in impacted the lives of over 900,000 people across 9 states in South Sudan and and in the southern part of the Abyei Administrative Area, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reports.

Floods have washed away roads and bridges; destroyed homes, schools and health facilities; and submerged boreholes and latrines thereby contaminating water sources and risking outbreaks of waterborne diseases. Furthermore flooding has destroyed livestock and potentially damaged 16,500 hectares of cropland.

Flooding has affected wide areas since late August this year. In a statement of 07 September the president of South Sudan, Salva Kiir Mayardit, reported 07 people died in floods in Majak-baai in Northern Bahr el Ghazal state. The situation has since worsened and by 10 October as many as 252,000 people were affected by flooding the state.

The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) reported heavy rainfall in Western Equatoria State in late September caused the Mori River to break its banks. On 28 September, nearly 29,800 people were displaced. As of 10 October, the UN said 111,000 people were affected across Western Equatoria State.

The UN said areas of Warrap State have also been severely flooded, impacting 208,000 people. Meanwhile in Jonglei state the numbers of those impacted have started to fall, with 49,000 affected in Jonglei as of 10 October (previously 174,000 on 30 September).

As of 10 October, as many as 118,000 people were impacted by the floods in Unity State. This is a slight fall since 30 September when 155,000 were affected. However, flood waters began increasing once again from early October, in particular in Rubkona and Bentiu towns, where at least 2 dykes were breached on 09 October.

The UN said the situation required immediate action to prevent water flooding the humanitarian hub, the camps for internally displaced (IDP camps), and the United Nations Mission in South Sudan base.

“The water levels have now reached the highest levels experienced in 2021. Efforts are ongoing around the clock to repair the areas needed and to monitor any vulnerable areas ahead of further breaches. The teams are mobilizing sandbags, soil, and canoes to facilitate fixing dyke leakages. Response efforts are ongoing to scale up dyke repairs and prevent further flooding of the areas,” the UN said.

In Western Bahr el Ghazal, the collapse of a key bridge between Wau-Raja counties due to heavy rains is causing severe disruption to the local population and travellers, including 30,000 returnees mainly from Sudan, living in Raja County.

“The collapsed bridge and lack of access impact the delivery of critical supplies, including medical and nutrition provisions to Raja County by road from Wau,” UNOCHA reported.

The populations of Upper Nile State (91,000); Lakes State (69,000); and Central Equatoria (3,000) have also been impacted by flooding in recent weeks.

File photo for illustration. Floods in Fangak, Jonglei state, South Sudan, October 2021. Photo; WFO South Sudan