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90,000 people affected by heavy rains in South Sudan: OCHA

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August 8, 2021 (JUBA) - Heavy rains have affected an estimated 90,000 people in South Sudan, destroying homes, agricultural fields and forcing families and their livestock to higher grounds, the United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said.

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A heavily flooded area in a remote part of South Sudan (Getty)

In a statement, OCHA said, a mission comprising of humanitarian representatives and government officials from Juba and Bor visited Ayod and Canal counties on August 4 to understand the impacts of the ongoing flooding and support required to assist the people.

During the mission, it further disclosed, local authorities reported that upwards of 70,000 people have been affected by flooding in Ayod and Canal counties.

“Intense and unrelenting for two years, the flooding is seriously degrading the ability of the people to cope and survive. Tens of thousands of people have been impacted,” said Arafat Jamal, the Humanitarian Coordinator ad interim in South Sudan.

“What is occurring in Ayod is a distressing example of how a changing climate disrupts the normal patterns and intensifies the effects of flooding, leaving people disoriented and dispossessed. The people we met in Ayod and Canal faced acute humanitarian needs, yet their thoughts were directed to their brethren across the river, marooned on islands surrounded by water, sheltering under trees and unable to cross to safety,” he added.

According to the humanitarian official, the affected people are urgently in need of food assistance, shelter, kitchen items, medicines and access to clean water.

He pledged the support of the humanitarian community to flood affected people, saying a joint humanitarian team is in the process of providing basic needs to flood survivors in Ayod and beyond.

“The imperative right now is to alleviate suffering, which we shall do with the resources at our disposal. But we must also help communities to adapt to change, and we are also investing in longer term interventions, such as dyke building, that will help communities to better withstand recurring climate shocks,” stressed Jamal.

According to UN Children Fund (UNICEF), some 8.3 million people in South Sudan presently need humanitarian support, a much higher number than the levels seen during the country’s last civil war.

(ST)

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