Government declares flood national emergency

Government declares flood national emergency
Flooding in part of South Sudan (photo credit: courtesy)

The governance cluster in its regular meeting chaired by the First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar on Tuesday declared floods across the country a national emergency.

Speaking to the media after the meeting, Garang Tong Aken, Deputy Minister of Cabinet Affairs said the cluster resolved to form a responsive committee to address the issue of flood in the country.

“The cluster discussed the issues of flooding and declared it a national emergency today, [and] the meeting also recommended a responsive committee to be formed,” Tong said.

He said the committee will comprise the ministries of Humanitarian Affairs, Defense, Water and Irrigation, Health, Information, and Gender.

The Minister of Information Michael Makuei said the committee would be formed after the approval of the council of ministers.

In an interview with City Review yesterday, Makuei declined to comment on the role of the committee, saying it would be revealed after being approved by the cabinet.

“The committee is subject to approval by the cabinet, I am not ready to talk about it now. This is an issue that has been discussed at the governance cluster [and] is subject to approval by the cabinet,” Makuei said.

This comes after a huge number of people were reported to have been displaced by floods across between May and August in 2021 alone.

According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), 380,000 people have been affected by flooding this year in areas along the River Nile, Sudd wetlands, Rivers Lol, and Sobat since May with Jonglei and Unity states being most affected.

Early seasonal rains have caused rivers to overflow their dykes and banks, flooding vast areas and settlements across the country.

More heavy rainfall and flooding are expected in the coming months that are likely to displace more people, according to the report by OCHA.

Many of the flood-affected people have moved to higher grounds within their counties and neighboring states.

Some 100,000 people, mostly from Twic East, who were displaced by the 2020 floods, still have not returned home and are sheltering in Bor, Mangalla IDP camps, and Mingkaman, according to humanitarian partners.

The flooding caused massive displacement of people and cattle and destroyed crops farms and properties.

An estimated 1,042,000 people were affected by floods in eight out of 10 states and one administrative area in South Sudan between July and December 2020 and an estimated 480,000 people were displaced.

Victims

Jonglei and Greater Pibor Administrative Area have been the worst affected (495,000 people), followed by Lakes (147,000 people), Unity (126,000), Upper Nile (76,000), Warrap (60,000), Western Equatoria (53,000), Central Equatoria (40,000) and Northern Bahr-el-Ghazal (15,000) OCHA said.

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