1st October 2020
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Torrential rains threaten more areas in Western Equatoria

Author: Charles Wote | Published: Saturday, August 22, 2020

Devastating floods have hit mostly Bor, Renk, Pibor, Pochalla, Ibba and parts of Kapoeta. PHOTO//Gabriela Vivacqua/WFP

The Relief and Rehabilitation Commission in Western Equatoria has warned that devastating floods are likely to affect four more counties in the state if the torrential rain continues.

Last months, flash floods destroyed most parts of Ibba County in the state.

Several homes, granaries, and crops were uprooted by the heavy rains, forcing residents to seek shelter in the nearby schools and church facilities.

Residents said the current level of water in the state was last seen in 1958.

The Executive Director of Blending Community Service Organization, a local NGO in the state said the enablers of unprecedented floods in Ibba County needs to be assessed.

“It is not a matter of river overflowing leading to the flooding in Ibba, but water is coming from the ground,” said Justin Woduapai. “This one requires technical analysis or advanced technology to understand what is really under the ground.”

The torrential rains and floods have persisted since July.

Last week, a team comprised of government, national and international organizations assessed the conditions in Ibba to identify the needs of the affected population.

Their report indicated that nine villages were severely hit by flash floods caused by storms and overflowing nearby river.

The team provided 100 households affected by the floods in Ibba with shelter and dignity kits for young girls.

“On our way to Ibba, we took some materials which were not even enough. We distribute the items to just 425 elderly people,” said Francis Juma Boroyo, Deputy Director of Relief and Rehabilitation Commission in Western Equatoria state.

But Mr. Juma now warns that Mvolo, Maridi, Nzara and Tombura are likely to also witness flash floods in the coming days.

“If this rain continues like this…these locations  might be affected by the flood.” Juma told Eye Radio via telephone from Western Equatoria state capital, Yambio.

Heavy rains have continued to hit most parts of the country.

So far, officials have also 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 the majority living in the open.

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.

This week, the South Sudan Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management announced that it has set up structures to facilitate emergency response in areas affected by floods.

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