President Kiir’s house among settlements affected by Warrap floods

President Kiir’s house among settlements affected by Warrap floods
A part of Ayod County in Jonglei State hijacked by a ravaging flood (photo credit: courtesy)

President Salva Kiir’s residence in Warrap State has been submerged in floods, the Minister of Information Michael Makuei told journalists in Juba.

Addressing the press after the regular council of ministers’ meeting on Friday, Makuei said Kiir’s residence in Warrap State was waterlogged after a heavy downpour in the area on Thursday night.

 “More than half of the areas in South Sudan is underwater even the house of the president at home was taken over by water last night,” Makuei told the reporters.

He said the floods also swamped a training centre for unified forces in Tufugia South of Upper Nile.

Makuei said the deputy minister of defence is expected to come in for rescue and find a new place where the training centres will be relocated.

On Saturday, President Kiir said his home village has been taken by water because of the continued heavy rainfall the country has been experiencing.

“Now this year it has rained heavily and floods have destroyed the whole country even the place where I was born is now in the water. All of us here let us think of how to come out of this crisis. Let’s leave the fighting and leave anything and let us work together so that we get out of the crisis we face,” Kiir said.

Kiir made the remarks while addressing the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) women caucus on Saturday.

“If we can bring our brothers, we will talk like the seating here today not that there will be fighting and it is because of conflict that our country remained undeveloped,” he added.

Kiir urged the women to work towards designing a strategy that can get South Sudan out of the current crisis it faces.

Nationa emergency

This comes barely a week after the governance cluster in a regular meeting chaired by the First Vice President Dr Riek Machar declared floods a national emergency on September 15.

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 flooding 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 would comprise the ministries of Humanitarian Affairs, Defense, Water and Irrigation, Health, Information, and Gender.

Mr Makuei said then that the committee would be formed after the approval of the council of ministers.

But 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.

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.