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Support needed for Pibor, Nzara flood victims returning “home” -Officials

Author: Okot Emmanuel | Published: Monday, November 16, 2020

Floods in Bor Town, Jonglei, South Sudan, August 2020 | Credit | Komma Godfrey/UNHCR

Local officials in Pibor Administrative Area and Western Equatoria state are appealing to aid agencies to help flood victims who are returning to their homes.

Torrential rains and flash floods have displaced thousands of people and destroy several homes across the country.

In Pibor, many families have been affected and dozens of homes have been destroyed by rains and flashflood over the past months.

“Some food and non-food items are needed urgently to rescue the life of the civilian, and what I can recommend is none food item like blanket, carpet and some of the cooking utensil that needs to be supplied to the people,” said Peter Lebelek, Pibor Administrative Area ‘Secretary-General.

Thousands of people have been left without a source of livelihoods after being displaced from their villages -especially in Pochalla County, Gumruk, and Likwagole and Pibor town.

However, Mr. Lebelek told Eye Radio on Monday that the floods have subsided.

“The situation is a little bit ok, the flood is now reducing and the water level is going down,” he said, adding that “…after one week the airstrips will dry up, and if there is any relief destined for Pibor, Likwangole and Gumruk it will be good.”

The flashfloods have so far caused major destruction of infrastructure and livelihoods, leading to displacement in multiple locations, including Western Equatoria state.

In Nzara County, an official says those who sought refuge on higher grounds, schools and churches are planning to return to their destroyed homes after the rains stopped.

The Relief and Rehabilitation Commission Director in the state says more than 2,000 people in Kara area require urgent assistance.

“The water levels have gone down. The only place that is still impacted is Kara where about 2,440 are affected,” Joseph Ngaku stated.

He attributed the reason to “a river here called Yugu, it overflowed and submerged houses and many houses fell.”

According to aid agencies, some 800,000 people were affected by floods by the end of September, with half of the country flooded.

They say approximately 368,000 people were also displaced in greater Jonglei, Unity, Eastern, and Western Equatoria, Upper Nile states.

Key infrastructures, including roads, boreholes, and market places have also been damaged, increasing the need for humanitarian assistance.

The situation has also led to the spread of the highly contagious and life-threatening illness is a growing crisis in the area.

Last week, the medical charity, Médecins Sans Frontières said two children have so far died of measles in Pibor, and 30 others are in critical condition.

It revealed that 273 children were treated in their facility last month and over a hundred others admitted since the first measles case was reported in August.

Pibor Administrative Area ‘Secretary-General, Peter Lebelek called on the government to avail its support to the people of Pibor.

“What I want to tell the government is that it is good to send a delegation to assess the problem people are facing,” Peter Labalek concluded.

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