Over 80 people killed in Upper Nile flood menace

Over 80 people killed in Upper Nile flood menace
One of the schools in Unity State in Bentiu town flooded (photo credit: courtesy)

At least 86 people have been killed by floods in Unity State since February 2023.

Speaking to The City Review on Tuesday, Peter Kuol, secretary-general for security in the internally displaced person’s camp in Bentiu County, attributed the deaths to the continued flooding in the area.

He said all crops in the area had been destroyed by the flood and people have resorted to eating water lilies.

 “We have lost 87 people and among them are 31 women who went far looking for water lily flowers to feed their families,” he said.

Also, he said among them were 27 men who lost their lives while fishing at night.

“There are 29 children, 11 boys, and 18 girls who lost their lives while some of them went swimming and others died while taking baths or finishing,” Kuol said.

Kuol said they discovered the bodies of those who died in the flood water.

“One of the biggest challenges and fears we faced is that we only got the bodies without their organs (reproductive organs).”

“We just buried them like that; we don’t have any idea as to why the organs are missing,” Kuol stressed.

The internally displaced persons hailed the United Nations Mission in South Sudan and the communities for building dykes to hold back floodwaters in Bentiu’s impacted areas.

 “We have formed a team to protect the children from moving anyhow in flood waters and from bathing in the flooded waters.”

“Because drowning was so common between February and November,” he added.

South Sudan has been experiencing flooding since 2021, which has caused mass displacement, the destruction of livelihoods, and the loss of crops, all of which have contributed to the country’s persistent food insecurity.