Malakal prepares to combat impacts of looming floods

Malakal prepares to combat impacts of looming floods
South Sudanese men navigate a canoe through floodwaters in Bentiu Nov. 20, 2021. Bishop Stephen Nyodho Ador Majwok of Malakal called for support as floods continued to devastate his diocese. (CNS photo/Njiiri Karago/Medecins Sans Frontieres handout via Reuters) NO ARCHIVES. MUST DISCARD 30 DAYS AFTER DOWNLOAD.

A taskforce subcommittee for the reception of returnees and national foreigners in Malakal County, Upper Nile, announced an urgent preparation to combat impacts of floods.

Mary Koang, the chairperson of the task force subcommittee for the reception of returnees and national foreigners, said they are on high alert after South Sudan’s Ministry of Water Resources and Fisheries announced that Uganda would open water flows next month, a significant flood is expected to impact South Sudan.

“We prepared ourselves because the flood was announced by the government of South Sudan,” she said.

“Our state, Upper Nile State, being a low-lying area, is particularly vulnerable to flooding. Every flood displaces people, causing immense suffering among our citizens. Last year, we had IDPs from Jonglei due to similar circumstances.”

Koang emphasized the importance of coordinated efforts in response to the flood crisis.

“Every organization has its contribution, according to the response plan. We need emergency funds based on what the government announced and for humanitarian teams to prepare for the coming flood,” she said.

Last year, South Sudan faced the worst floods in the region over the past four years, exacerbated by climate change. During the rainy season, floodwaters swept away villages, destroyed crops, drowned cattle, caused diseases, and severely damaged infrastructure, while forcing hundreds of thousands of people from their homes.

Floods bring a myriad of health challenges, from disease outbreaks to increased snake bites.

“If the flood happens tomorrow and we lack proper medication, it could lead to a lot of diseases and other challenges. We need adequate medical resources to address these issues,” Koang stressed.