South Sudan has been plagued by the heaviest flooding in the past four decades, states the UN refugee organisation UNHCR. More than one million people are now affected by it.
The country has been in since June, to cope with severe flooding. In particular, in the highlands of the neighbouring country of Ethiopia, it is raining more than it normally would, causing the rivers in the lower parts of South Sudan is flooded.
South Sudan’s president Salva Kiir called on last week to declare a state of emergency in large parts of the country. In some areas, there are still only islands of a few hundreds of square meters of dry land, such as, for example, in the eastern part of the country, in the town of Pibor.
The UNHCR and médecins sans Frontières (Msf) is afraid of the reappearance of cholera in the country, due to the lack of access to clean drinking water and unsanitary conditions. More than a year ago, South Sudan choleravrij explained.
South Sudan is one of the poorest countries in Africa; however, according to the united nations, almost two-thirds of the population dependent on emergency aid. The six-year-long war in the country’s civil war. More than 1.7 million people have now been displaced.
Floods ravage South Sudan
Hospital, Doctors without Borders will be flooded
“There is almost no dry land to be found,” says Kim Gielens, that is, five days ago in Pibor was made on behalf of Msf. In the hospital, the organization is flooded completely. The people in the area, according to the Gielens are completely dependent on the care that Msf provides.
“First of all, we looked at the cat from the tree, and we tried to save what could be saved. After that, we came to the hospital department for the department as well. However, at a given point in time, there was nothing left.” As a substitute, the hospital tents overflowed too quickly, and then even Gielens, and the team struggled to find a place to stay.
The dry land is in short supply in Pibor
Gielens is estimated that in and around Pibor, approximately 50 000 to 60 000 people have been affected by the recent floods. Many of them, the organization is of utmost importance.
The images show an area that has become a small island country. According to the Gielens this is due to the geography of the area, which is surrounded by the rivers: In Pibor, it is a different type of soil, making the water more difficult, after so many years in the area. Also, the area is very flat, so there is little to no high ground to escape to.”
On the few plots of land in Pibor, people are gathered together, the Msf staff member. They live in poor conditions with lack of clean drinking water and the provision of basic services. Gielens to see an increased risk of diseases that go hand in hand, such as diarrhoea, malaria and respiratory tract infections. “The international organizations need to take action. There will be food, water, shelter, and medical care”.
Flooding in Pibor (Image: Doctors without Borders).
India, El Nino may be the cause
In addition, South-Sudan, other countries in East Africa affected by the floods, including in Ethiopia, sudan, Somalia, and Kenya. Stichting vluchteling (Refugee foundation reports that the situation in Ethiopia is serious, it is. There are a lot of people in wars in the region have fled.
The amount of rainfall in the region is not to be explained by a single cause. Meteorologists expect, however, that the increased amount of rain in november and december, and will continue to rise.
The flooding, according to meteorologists may be partly explained by the klimaatfenomeen the Indian Ocean dipole to hot. It is the interaction of air and water currents that have to withstand extreme weather conditions in the Horn of Africa, causes such as drought and heavy rainfall. It is, therefore, also known as the Indian El Niño referred to a similar phenomenon over the Pacific Ocean.