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Flooding causes extreme destruction in South Sudan: IOM

December 7, 2019 (JUBA) – Unprecedented rains have caused flooding that has affected an estimated one million people in South Sudan, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) revealed.

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

The agency, in a statement extended to Sudan Tribune, said heavy floods have displaced thousands from homes and destroyed livelihoods.

“The level of destruction caused by the floods is unfathomable. People have nowhere to sleep, children are sick, there is no food to eat,” said IOM South Sudan Chief of Mission, Jean-Philippe Chauzy.

“We have rolled up our sleeves and we will continue to do everything we can to help alleviate the misery caused by these floods,” he added.

According to the agency, in Unity region’s Mankien and Bentiu towns, it provided shelter and non-food such as blankets, mosquito nets and plastic sheeting for temporary shelters to 3,000 households.

The water, sanitation and hygiene team distributed aqua tabs and filter cloths used to treat the water consumed by 3,000 households, IOM noted, adding that 6,000 households received similar relief items in Upper Nile region’s Ulang and Gumruk towns.

“We cannot forget that in crises, vulnerable populations, especially women and children, are more likely to face gender-based-violence and other kinds of abuse,” stressed Chauzy.

“Protection and safeguarding are at the cornerstone of all of our activities and it is important that as we provide immediate emergency relief we also tackle protection issues,” he added.

IOM said it is, in collaboration with partners, ramping up its humanitarian response to affected communities in counties declared to be in a state of emergency.

According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), more than 908,000 people have been affected by heavy rainfall and subsequent flooding, of whom 620,000 needed humanitarian assistance.

In October, the South Sudanese President Salva Kiir declared a state of emergency in the flood-affected areas of the country.

(ST)