One killed, hundreds displaced as floods hit Juba

One killed, hundreds displaced as floods hit Juba
A journalist interviews a resident displaced by flooding in the areas of Jebel Lemon of Mangalla Payam, and Kondoro section of Sherikat, Rejaf Payam on Tuesday 12/10/2021 (photo credit: Agoot Deng)

A young girl has reportedly died in the aftermath of flooding that has swept through the areas of Jebel Lemon of Mangalla Payam, and the Kondoro section of Sherikat, Rejaf Payam, leaving trails of destruction.

An eyewitness revealed that flooding began at 4:00 am four hours after the onset of rains at 1:00 pm which caused the stream to overflow.  The source said most of the people were still sleeping and could not salvage their property, among them goats and chicken, food items and falling houses, and one church.

The only bridge which connected Sherikat to Jebel Lemon was partly exposed cutting its access to motorbikes and vehicles as people improvised to cross on its steep edge.

Some of the worst-hit households evacuated children and luggage to the nearby Juba Junior School where they would put up for the night and others were in neighborhoods.

Rachael Akoi, a relative of the 5-year-old girl, Nyantet Majak who died, said she was brought from Uganda on Monday by her mother Akech Dau while ill.  She was brought for further medication within the city. As other children were being evacuated before the flood intensified, she was overcome by a mass of water succumbing to colds.

“Flood began while we were still asleep. We discovered later when we felt water in beds. Neighbors swam with children as they took them to safer areas. It has carried away food and others have no houses to sleep in,” she said.

She added that due to floods that could not allow for the child’s burial, the body had been taken to Giada embalmment awaiting arrangements for burial. Attempts to reach her father and uncle were in vain as their numbers did not go through.

Alice Amito, a student from the health science institute, asked the government to provide them with security because they had nowhere to sleep and never knew what would happen at night.

Peter Manyok Mayen, the chief in Jebel Lemon B said that the flood was the first of its kind since the affected areas were inhabited. He said that the child who was swept away by the flood was at first missing but later on found dead along the river.

“Flood had been heard from Upper Nile, Bentiu, Bahr El Gazal and many other areas but it is today at Jebel Lemon. Let the government see how to help its people. It has carried away property, part of the bridge is swept away. We ask the government to provide the affected families with food, tarpaulin, iron sheets, or tents for them to live in,” he requested.

The authorities in the area asked for humanitarian assistance to rescue the affected families. 

Chol Buol Kuot, the deputy chairperson of Juba Two, Mangalla Payam, said that he knew of two people who were rescued from the flood as well.

“The flood took many people but they were saved. I call upon the government to help us fix the bridge. This bridge brings together people from Mangalla Payam and Rejaf Payam. Right now, vehicles, motorbikes, and also people cannot cross safely, unless the government comes and save its people,” he asked.

IGAD Climate Prediction and Application Centre (ICPAC) last month warned against heavy rainfall above 100 milliliters in the Upper Nile and Eastern parts of the country.

On September 9, floods overran Gumbo and Lologo Two rendering hundreds homeless. Sources said that a similar flood last year swept away a three-day-old baby who fell off from the hand of the mother while trying to take the child to a safe place.

According to the latest report by the United Nations, at least 623,000 people have been affected by floods in the country since May, forcing many to flee homes mostly caused by the overflowing of rivers and streams.

The report detailed that Jonglei and Unity states were the most affected states making 58 percent of the affected population. Schools, health facilities, homes, and water sources had been destroyed.