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Maban witnesses “unprecedented flooding”

Author: Staff Writer | Published: Friday, October 18, 2019

An aid worker wades through flood waters in a compound in Maban on Monday, Oct 14, 2019 | Credit | John Oba D-baa

Unprecedented heavy flooding in South Sudan’s Maban County has affected nearly 200,000 people, including refugees and host population, UNHCR has said.

Located in the Upper Nile State, Maban is home to more than 150,000 refugees from Sudan.

According to the UNHCR, South Sudan is on a gradual path to recovery from six years of conflict and now faces flooding that the region has not witnessed in recent decades.

“Refugees and South Sudanese locals fled their homes, carrying their belongings and seen gathering together on little islands of dry ground,” said Adan Ilmi, UNHCR’s Representative to South Sudan, in a statement.

“Flood waters have submerged, making access to the refugee camps difficult for humanitarians. Schools in the region also remain closed.”

The floods have also reportedly impacted access to public services, including hospitals and damaged sanitation facilities– increasing health risks.

UNHCR says it remains concerned that the flooding may increase the risks and spread of diseases. South Sudan was recently declared cholera free last year with the fears that the deadly disease could make a comeback.

working with its partners and the local authorities is rushing emergency support. People are seeking safety from the flood waters wherever they find dry land, mostly on small islands as unprecedented water levels have submerged vast areas.

The area, near Maban’s capital town of Bunj, is prone to flooding this time of year because of heavy seasonal rains. Excess water from the Ethiopian highlands, where rainfall is becoming more intense and irregular, is also carving its way through neighborhoods in broad, swift rivers.

The affected population is in dire need of humanitarian assistance, the UN refugee agency added.

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