12th November 2019
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Floods devastate Torit, Abyei, Jonglei

Authors: Okot Emmanuel | Garang Abraham | Alhadi Hawari | Published: 1 month ago

Bor residents wade in flood water near South Sudan Hotel - Photo by Achiek Jok

Latest flooding caused by persistent rainfall has reportedly rendered thousands of families homeless in parts of the country.

These are mostly Jonglei, Torit states, and Abyei Administrative Area.

Torit

The flash floods in Torit worsened after Kineti River reportedly burst its banks.

Speaking to Eye Radio, Torit State Governor Tobiolo Alberio said communities living on the mountainous areas are concerned about a potential landslide due to heavy downpour.

“In Torit West County, 76 houses have collapsed and more reports are still coming from other counties. In Kor-Inglis, one of the villages has been abandoned…all the houses have collapsed,” Tobiolo said.

He added that communities living on the mountains in Lopit area are also afraid of landslides.

Jonglei

Homes are submerged in floodwaters in Jonglei State, according to the chairperson of Jonglei State Civil Society Network.

Garang Goch said the displaced are at risk of infection of water-borne diseases.

“The areas of Baidiit to Athoch, up to the area of Twic – South of Pakeer are flooded, and people are sleeping by the roadside because their houses are occupied with water,” he told Eye Radio.

Goch added that the floodwaters broke the dyke. The affected communities, he continued, are trying to redirect the water to the river.

Abyei

Over 5,000 homes have reportedly been destroyed by the flash floods.

The Minister of Health in Administrative Area stressed that the heavy rains and overflow of water have displaced people in Abyei and Anet to higher open grounds and roads.

Nyanwut Koul announced that the region has also been cut off from the rest of the country –South Sudan.

Abyei borders most of the former Warrap state.

“They cannot stay in their houses. So they went to higher grounds where there is no floods. They need a humanitarian response,” Nyanwut told Eye Radio on Thursday via telephone from Abyei town. 

Last year, a project of constructing roads within Abyei town by United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei, UNISFA, was interrupted by heavy floods in the area.

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.

Just last month, thousands of people were reportedly affected by flash floods in Tombura, Aweil, Bieh, Ruweng, Jubek, Terekeka and Tonj states.

South Sudan depends entirely on international aid organizations which 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.

Such statements have come under criticism from Civil Society organizations who say the government responds to man-made violence more seriously and swiftly than natural calamities such as floods and famine.

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