24th September 2020
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Flood victims in Unity still waiting for assistance

Author: Jale Richard | Published: Sunday, September 13, 2020

A family tries to cross through a flooded area in Unity State. Photo/Luony Samuel Madol/facebook.

Thousands of people affected by floods in Unity State are still waiting for assistance after water swallowed their villages last month.

Unity State is located in the north of South Sudan. It comprises of seven counties — Payinjiar, Leer, Mayiandit, Koch, Guit, Rubkona and Mayom.

According to residents there, all seven counties are experiencing flood with thousands of people displaced and livelihoods lost.

Payinjiar County located in the southern part of Unity state, bordering Jonglei to the south and Lakes State to the west is the most affected, according to residents of the county.

Last month, Hon. Simon Gatluak who represents the county at the state legislative assembly told Eye Radio that at least 80,000 people have been affected by the floods.

Pictures shared by residents show many using canoes to move around while others built barricades to guard against the water.

Torrential rains across the country have also caused havoc in several parts of the country including Jonglei, Lakes, parts of Central and Western Equatoria states.

Last month, President Salva Kiir declared a state of emergency in Jonglei and Pibor Administrative Area to coordinate assistance for flood-affected people.

But in Unity State, residents there say the country’s leaders seem to have left the people on their own.

The executive director of Action for Conflict Resolution organization based in Bentiu the capital of Unity State said since the first alarm over the floods was made, flood victims have not received any help.

“There is no help either from the government or the NGOs,” George Mabany told Eye Radio on Sunday.

“I’m urging the government to save the community. First, they need to save them by bringing them out of the water and put them in a nice place where they can be served because now the snake bites are too much. And also I’m urging the international organizations to come and help the people of unity state.”

Mabany says delays in the formation of state governments as per the revitalized peace agreement is making it difficult to coordinate assistance for the affected people.

“There is no one concerned about the people. The delay in the formation of the unity government is making it hard. Now nobody is voicing the people’s problems because, in Unity State, there is only the governor. There are no commissioners, no payam administrators. So people are staying there like children that have got no fathers and mothers.”

South Sudan relies almost entirely on aid agencies to assist during times of natural disasters such as floods.

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