September 8, 2013 (JUBA) – South Sudan has launched a humanitarian intervention in Warrap state, dispatching dozens of medical doctors from Juba to help treat the victims of the devastating floods in the area.
- A photo taken on 4 September in Jonglei state capital Bor showing people affected by recent floods there (ST)
Tonnes of relief supplies were flown into Warrap state by air from Juba on Saturday, while the medical team left the capital on Sunday.
Jonglei, Upper Nile, Lakes, Warrap, Unity and Northern Bahr el Ghazal are among the worst-affected states hit by severe flooding as a result of consistent heavy rains over the past month.
Tens of thousands of households across the country were left without adequate shelter of food supplies after their homes were submerged by flood waters, also resulting in the spread of waterborne diseases.
The council of ministers, which is chaired by president Salva Kiir Mayardit, last week passed a resolution which constituted a taskforce, to be headed by the cabinet affairs minister, Martin Elia Lomoru, to assess the level of threat in the country and plan for emergency interventions in the states affected.
Lomoro and a number of ministers in the taskforce, including minister of health Riek Gai Kok and minister for gender and social welfare Awut Deng Acuil, visited Warrap state last week to assess the damage in the region.
Subsequently, following their report, the cabinet on Friday approved 7million SSP to assist the states affected.
Footage of the chair and some members of the taskforce overseeing humanitarian supplies and medical teams destined for Warrap were broadcast on state-run South Sudan Television (SSTV) on Saturday and Sunday.
With some other states said to be worse off than Warrap, critics have questioned the government’s rationale to give priority to the home state of the president above others.
“I don’t understand the reason why only the situation of the people of Warrap state is the one displayed on SSTV, and now the first humanitarian assistance goes there. While a state like Jonglei where I come from has been badly devastated for a long time by the floods, including the capital, Bor”, Juba-based trader William Dau said.
It is still unclear when the government will intervene in the other five states some of which are facing a looming humanitarian crisis, according to reports from the local authorities and NGOs on the ground.