UN says Sudan, South Sudan ravaged by seasonal flooding

Seasonal flooding in Sudan and South Sudan devastated entire communities, where homes were destroyed and farmland and livelihoods washed away, according to the United Nations.

The rains came early this year, starting in South Sudan in late April instead of June. The accumulation of massive amounts of rainwater caused the Nile and Lol rivers and the Sudd marshes to overflow and flood vast tracts of land.

Jonglei, Unity, northern Bahr el Ghazal and Upper Nile are the most affected states. The UN says nearly half a million people are suffering from the floods.

Jens Laerke, spokesperson for the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, said aid agencies were doing their best to provide emergency aid.

“Access is however a major challenge, as most of the flood-affected areas are inaccessible by road, and transporting aid by air is very expensive… Some of the counties affected by the floods are also affected by the flooding. ongoing violence, which creates significant challenges for those affected and for humanitarians trying to meet their needs, ”he said.

Laerke said aid agencies have delivered food, water purification tablets, plastic sheeting for temporary shelters, mosquito nets and medical and other supplies, but resources are limited and need to be replenished. .

A woman inspects the small dam she built outside the front door of her flood-proof home in the village of Dijeri, on the outskirts of Juba, South Sudan, on October 1, 2021.

Lack of money is hampering the operation, he said, with just 61% of the UN’s appeal for South Sudan of $ 1.7 billion this year satisfied.

Laerke said a similar funding problem in Sudan is preventing the delivery of emergency aid to more than 314,000 flood victims. He said heavy rains had wreaked havoc in 14 of Sudan’s 18 states since July.

“The floods destroyed or damaged more than 62,000 homes and displaced more than 100,000 people. Bridges collapsed and farmland was flooded. Some 183,000 people benefited from various types of assistance. However, relief stocks also here in Sudan need to be urgently replenished to maintain the response, ”he said.

Laerke said hundreds of thousands of Sudanese will be without essential supplies and services for the rest of the year without further external support, and that the UN’s appeal for $ 1.9 billion in Sudan no ‘is only 29% funded.

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