By Faith Nyasuguta
So far, 800,000 people have been affected by the increasing water levels in South Sudan since May, the United Nations(UN) has revealed.
The statistics come even as the world grapples with climate change and its impact.
In a press statement, the UN said that Jonglei, Unity, and Upper Nile regions are among the parts which have been affected by rising waters across the nation this year.
On October 28, a delegation of government officials, university representatives, UN officials and diplomats visited Bor in Jonglei to witness the impact of the flooding in the area firsthand.
“Through this visit, we heard the voices of the people, the government and teams responding to the flooding in Jonglei,” Arafat Jamal, the Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator ad interim in South Sudan, said in the press release issued in Juba.
Jamal revealed that the delegation witnessed not only the ravaging effects of flooding but also saw hopeful efforts in terms of flood mitigation which has saved thousands of lives.
He added that the affected communities spoke about entire villages being uprooted as water submerged homes and farmlands.
Further, there was a dramatic shrink in their access to essential health services, particularly for expectant mothers.
With parents expressing worry about the impact of displacement on their children, they raised concerns about the disruption to education, he said.
“Through the distribution of food assistance, shelter items, lives have been saved – but it’s not enough. The UN humanitarian response is just 62 per cent funded,” Jamal said.
The UN official thus vowed continued support of the humanitarian community to the people of South Sudan and called for more intensive efforts to help communities adapt to changing weather patterns which had affected food security and sparked conflict as people seek safety on higher ground.
“We are here to support communities as they deal with the increasingly frequent flood and drought events,” he said.