26th October 2020
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Citizens accuse gov’t of doing nothing about flood victims

Author: Emmanuel Akile | Published: Thursday, August 6, 2020

Women and child wade in flood waters at a market in Bor Town on Friday, July 30, 2020 | Credit | Courtesy

South Sudanese have criticized the government for doing nothing to respond to the devastating floods that have hit most parts of the country.

“The government here in Juba is silent. Why do we have the ministry of humanitarian affairs and disaster management? This is shameful,” said a Juba resident, who identified himself as David.

Heavy rains have continued to hit most parts of the country for the last one month.

Residents have been displaced to nearby schools, church facilities or high grounds.

An unprecedented overflow of water from the Nile River as a result of persistent rainfall continues to devastate most parts of Jonglei State.

Most areas have been declared disaster zones after consecutive days of rainfall.

Over 20,000 people have been displaced by the flash floods in Bor, Twic East and Duk counties.

Torrential rains and floods have also destroyed most parts of Ibba County, Western Equatoria State.

A religious leader there says homes, granaries, and crops have been damaged by the heavy rains.

The current level of water in Ibba was allegedly last seen in 1958.

Observers blamed the flooding on the poor drainage system in the country.

As of Tuesday, there were still no official statement or plan of action from the national government to provide urgent assistance to the displaced or salvage the situation.

Some members of the public have criticized the government for remaining silent.

“We women and children are the ones who always suffer; we always cry for help as women. Why can’t the government do something about it? Asked an Eye Radio listener during the Dawn show.

The metrological department warned that there would be heavy downpour this season “and the government is aware of that”.

“They should have planned for it. We as the citizens are requesting the government to look after the affected population; they need food, medicines and mosquito nets so that they do not get Malaria” said another caller.

South Sudan depends entirely on international aid organizations to address its humanitarian challenges.

The Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management has often said it is unable to respond to any emergency because of lack of funds.

“We don’t need to always rely on humanitarian organization, our government should also intervene, and we need to help each other,” said Mawan Mawan (not real name).

Climate change experts say focused efforts are required to reduce the risk of flooding on society.

They recommend the adoption of flood forecasting and warning systems, data collection systems, flood plain management practices and land-use planning, as well as economic and social measures -within an integrated framework to lead to sustainable solutions.

They also say concerted efforts are required to achieve these solutions, and such efforts are necessary to stem the rising losses from water-related disasters.

In June, the IGAD warned that the ongoing floods will worsen the situation especially at a time when the region is facing multiple crises including desert locust invasion, coronavirus pandemic, economic challenges and insecurity.

In October 2019, President Salva Kiir declared a state of emergency in 27 areas affected by heavy rains and floods across the country.

Kiir designated as critical states including defunct Lol, Aweil East and West, Gogrial, Twic, Tonj and Abyei.

He also declared the state of emergency in Terekeka, Mongalla, Rokon and Lafon.

The republican decree said Maban, Longechuk, Maiwut, Ulang, Nasir, Fangak and Akobo had been affected by torrential flooding.

Kiir also identified Pigi, Waat, Nyirol, Uror, Duk, Bor, Buma state, and Twic East as areas in critical humanitarian conditions.

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