Home | News    Saturday 27 September 2014

Floods: N. Bahr el Ghazal warns of looming disease outbreak

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September 26, 2014 (JUBA) – Authorities in South Sudan’s Northern Bahr el Ghazal state have warned that its population is at risk of an outbreak of disease due to the devastating floods that hit the region.

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A resident walks through flood waters in Bor, the capital of South Sudan’s Jonglei state (ST)

The state’s deputy state governor told Sudan Tribune on Friday that low land areas of Aweil South and parts of Aweil West, North and Central counties have been submerged by the flood, thus cutting its population off essential medical supplies.

“This week, some ministers and I visited Aweil south county and we saw with our own eyes how water from overflowing river bank had destroyed crops and submerged houses. People have been thrown out from their houses and are on the street. The biggest fear now is the possible spread of diseases from this water,” said Salva Chol Ayat.

“The immediate needs of these people now are medicines and safe place for relocation with their cows, which is what we are addressing,” he added.

Ayat, however, said the government and humanitarian agencies operating in the area agreed to carry out comprehensive assessment to ascertain the level of damage and respond appropriately.

“The immediate phase of rescue has commenced but the need for humanitarian assistances in the areas affected by the flooding will continue for several months because it has destroyed the source of living. Crops have been destroyed and diseases have affected some cows,” said Ayat.

“People have lost their homes and there is the risk of diseases because, among other things, there are still dead domestic animals in the stagnant water,” he added.

The state administration, Ayat revealed, would respond to the basic needs of the people affected by identifying and allocating places where they will be relocated and temporarily resettled as a comprehensive solution is being worked upon.

At least seven payams (sub-districts) in Aweil South county have reportedly been affected hence cut from accessing services from a primary health care unit in the area.

However, Ayat could not provide any further details on the affected populations, saying assessments were still being conducted to determine the level of damage caused by the floods.

(ST)

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