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Kiir declares flash floods national disaster

Author: Daniel Danis | Published: Wednesday, October 30, 2019

An office submerged in flood waters in Pibor, Oct 2019 | Credit | Facebook

President Salva Kiir has declared a state of emergency in 27 areas affected by heavy rains and floods across the country.

A presidential decree seen by Eye Radio highlights the dire humanitarian situation inflicted on 16 areas in Greater Upper Nile, 7 in Bahr el Ghazal, and 4 areas in Equatoria regions.

This week, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian said severe flooding across the country had affected an estimated 900,000 people since July.

Eye Radio has over the months also reported thousands of families in the three regions, including Abyei Administrative Area being forced to seek shelter on higher grounds because of the persistent rainfall and flash floods.

Aid agencies have reported the closure of health centers due to floods, and most of the displaced are at risk of infection from water-borne diseases.

In a decree issued on Tuesday, President Salva Kiir designated as critical states Lol, Aweil East and West, Gogrial, Twic, Tonj and Abyei.

He also declared the state of emergency in Terekeka, Mongalla, Rokon and Lafon.

The republican decree says Maban, Longechuk, Maiwut, Ulang, Nasir, Fangak and Akobo have been affected by torrential flooding.

Kiir also identified Pigi, Waat, Nyirol, Uror, Duk, Bor, Buma state, and Twic East as areas in critical humanitarian conditions.

South Sudan depends entirely on international aid organizations to address its humanitarian challenges.

The Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management has often said it is unable to respond to any emergency because of lack of funds.

Speaking to Eye Radio on Wednesday, the Undersecretary in the ministry of Humanitarian Affairs stressed that the presidential decree will enable the government to mobilize resources needed for the intervention.

“The government will respond in the next few days. We are now forming committees, we are trying to reorganize because the government has pledged to put something forward by tomorrow,” Gatwech Kulang stated.

The UN OCHA says more than 60 per cent of the flood-affected areas in South Sudan are currently classified as facing extreme levels of acute malnutrition.

It added more than 3 million people out of the over 7 million people countrywide needed assistance even before the rains.

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