The South Sudan 2019 rainy season, predicted to last until late November, began late and has seen much heavier rainfalls than average. This, combined with intense rains in the Ethiopian highlands which have washed into South Sudan, has led to flooding across much of the country, affecting up to 900,000 people. The Humanitarian Country Team and the Inter-Cluster Working Group have called for an emergency response for an initial period of six to eight weeks, starting early November, to meet immediate needs for shelter, non-food items, WASH, health, and livelihoods throughout the country.
Logistics Cluster Planned Response
The Logistics Cluster has been requested to support inter-cluster missions to flood-affected areas by transporting multi-sectoral flood survival kit cargo (Shelter/Non-Food Items, WASH, Health, and Food Security and Livelihoods items), and other flood response cargo through until mid-December. The Logistics Cluster will work closely with the ICWG, UNOCHA, and UNHAS on the scheduling of responses and will push for operational efficiencies, coordination, and prioritisation of response locations.
As most of the response locations are reachable only by air and airstrips are currently inundated with water or have been badly damaged by flooding, the Logistics Cluster must rely on helicopter transport for this response. The Logistics Cluster is in the process of acquiring an Mi-8 helicopter, which will be in addition to its existing air assets, to be based in Bor and dedicated solely to the flood response. In addition to this, the cluster will potentially use a fixed wing aircraft and an Mi-26 helicopter when available and where able to land to ensure the flood response is fully supported.
In recognition of the consequences of flooding in Maban and the dire need for lifesaving supplies for both refugee and host communities, the Logistics Cluster will offer cargo flights to Maban for a duration of up to one month for flood response cargo only. Once the flood response has ended, the cluster will resume normal operations and cease serving Maban.
To ensure maximum efficiencies, highest possible payloads, and most number of daily rotations to affected areas, cargo should be pre-positioned as follows:
• For flood responses in Jonglei and Upper Nile State, cargo should be pre-positioned in Bor.
• For flood responses in Unity State, cargo should be pre-positioned in Rumbek.
• For flood responses in Maban, cargo should be pre-positioned in Juba.
• In case of flood responses in locations reachable by road, the cluster will not fly cargo but can instead coordinate convoys.
• The Logistics Cluster retains the right to remain flexibile in its operations to ensure efficiency.
The below lists the order of prioritisation of flood-related cargo for air transport:
• Inter-Cluster Flood Survival Kit Missions (S/NFI, WASH, FSL, Health)
• Non-Inter-Cluster missions to flood-affected locations
• Any static responses, any other cargo/locations
Organisations with teams in flood-affected locations are requested to share information regarding airstrip conditions and any need for airstrip rehabilitation due to flood-related damage.