More than 220,000 people affected by flooding in South Sudan’s Unity State

South Sudanese refugees try to repair their hut in flooded waters from the White Nile at a refugee camp which was inundated after heavy rain near in al-Qanaa in southern Sudan, September 14, 2021. PHOTO | ASHRAF SHAZLY | AFP

More than 220,000 people have been affected by the flooding in South Sudan’s Unity State, according to the UN migration agency.

The floods have caused food shortages, malnutrition in children and a surge in the spread of various diseases.

Parts of South Sudan are experiencing their worst flooding in 60 years with the U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR) blaming climate change for the disaster.

FILE PHOTO: South Sudanese refugees try to repair their hut in flooded waters from the White Nile at a refugee camp which was inundated after heavy rain near in al-Qanaa in southern Sudan. /AFP

International Organization for Migration (IOM) Deputy Director General Amy Pope described the situation facing the victims in Unity State as “almost unimaginable”.

“People have been forced to leave their communities, livestock has died, there is tremendous food insecurity, people are more threatened by things like malaria and other diseases,” Pope said while on a visit to the state, which is the worst hit region in the country.

“It is having a tremendous impact on the people of this community in very devastating ways.

According to the UNHCR, consecutive years of flooding has hampered people’s ability to cope with the crisis. The situation has been compounded by the threat of conflict and the COVID-19 pandemic, which has battered the economy and social structures.

Most of South Sudan’s population relies on international food aid, while majority of basic services, like health and education, are provided by United Nations agencies and aid groups.

(Story compiled with assistance from wire reports)