26th October 2020
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Flash floods render families homeless in parts of the country

Authors: Obaj Okuj | Okot Emmanuel | Garang Abraham | Published: Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Residents leave their submerged homes in Bor recently | Credit | Mach Majer

Torrential rains and flash floods have continued to displace thousands of people and destroy several homes across South Sudan.

Many families have been affected and dozens of villages have been destroyed by floods in mostly Jonglei, Pibor, Upper Nile, Western and Eastern Equatoria states.

Officials have raised the alarm of the devastating impact of the persistent rainfall in Bor, Renk, Pibor, Pochalla, Ibba and parts of Kapoeta.

They say many people have sought refuge on higher grounds, in schools and churches – with majority living in the open.

Other key infrastructures, including roads, boreholes, and market places, have also been damaged, increasing the need for humanitarian assistance.


The torrential rains have reportedly wreaked havoc in several parts of Greater Pibor Administrative Area, with Pochalla County being the hardest-hit.

“Those areas are covered by waters and most of the people have been displaced from their homes to higher grounds where they are camping,” Peter Labelek, secretary-general told Eye Radio.


In the neighboring Jonglei State, residents of Bor town and well-wishers continue to wade off flash floods by building untenable dykes.

Families can be seen dragging their few belongings on top of flooded waters while others crammed on small dry spaces within the swamps.

The governor, Denay Chagor, has appealed for basic items such as food and sleeping materials such as mosquito nets.


In Unity State, many people have also been trapped by floods and rains that swept through large areas, particularly in Leer County.

According to Executive Director of Leer, the floods have caused massive destruction to hundreds of homes in more than 10 villages.

John Kueth emphasized that children, women and elderly people are the most affected.

“I am asking the government of South Sudan and humanitarians to help us in this situation, because now our people in Leer are in need, especially the children and women,” Kueth stressed.


In Upper Nile State, the floods have caused the collapse of vital facilities in Renk County.

According to a civil society activist, over 15,000 households have been affected in more than 7 areas.

The affected areas in Renk County include Abayuk, El-salam, Hai Al-Thuwra, Al-Darwa and Jabarona residential areas.

Yousif Mayiik insisted that the residents can no longer access their necessities.

“These areas are completely flooded and the citizens are really suffering. The humanitarian situation is unimaginably deteriorating,” said Mayiik.

The floods in Renk County is said to have been worsened by heavy rains and the partial collapse of a dam in the nearby state in Sudan.


Meanwhile, authorities in Eastern Equatoria state say stagnant waters and muddy roads have cut off access to the state capital, Torit.

The press secretary of the state governor says subsequent rains and floods have rendered the road networks impassable.

Oringa Goffrey noted that the major road linking Torit with Juba, Kopoeta to Ikwoto and Nadapal are inaccessible.

He said it is now virtually impossible to trucks carrying goods and other vehicles to move through to the border with Kenya:

“People are moving with difficulties, because the road is bad. Sometimes people get straned on the road.”

According to humanitarian partners, the ongoing heavy rainfall hampers crop production, increases the risk of disease outbreaks and poses more obstacles to containing the coronavirus pandemic.

They stress that most people displaced by floods are exposed to congestion, poor sanitation and inadequate food and other essentials, such as medicines, mosquito nets, as well as protection and maternal services.

Experts say annual floods in South Sudan occur for a variety of reasons, including poor drainage systems, sub-standard road construction and with some of the disadvantaged families resorting to living in areas prone to flooding.

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

The national Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management is yet to officially announce a comprehensive plan to salvage the current situation.

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