The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reports that an estimated 625,000 people have been affected by flooding in areas along the White Nile in South Sudan since July this year.
According to OCHA, a total of 34 counties (out of 79) in the country have been affected. Among the worst affected are the states of Jonglei (230,000 people affected), Lakes (147,000) and Unity (83,000). The numbers and water levels are expected to rise in the coming months.
OCHA said that humanitarian agencies are responding in all affected counties, adding that “Ayod, Bor South and Duk counties in Jonglei, Awerial in Lakes, and Panyijiar and Koch counties in Unity are identified as a high priority for a scale-up in operations, where physical access allows.”
Furthermore, South Sudan is now at risk of famine. OCHA said, “two consecutive years of severe flooding on top of conflict and pre-existing vulnerability have increased food insecurity, malnutrition and displacement.”
Flooding has also affected wide areas of neighbouring Sudan over recent weeks, where as many as 120 people have now died in what the UN describe as the worst flooding in 30 years.
Floods and landslides have destroyed or damaged 166,000 houses, according to the Sudan Government, and almost 830,000 people have been critically affected.