Jonglei state and other parts of South Sudan have experienced abnormally high levels of rainfall and flooding in recent years, especially during the 2019 and 2020 rainy seasons.3 As a result, water levels in the Sudd are unseasonably high and many locations along the Nile that normally host settlements remain uninhabitable. Within Jonglei state, Fangak county is one of the locations that have been affected particularly significantly. Fangak is located in the wetland along the Nile known as the Sudd. Most areas in the Sudd tend to be waterlogged year-round, but there are some settlements located on higher ground within the wetland. In Fangak county, the largest of these settlements are Old and New Fangak. In a January 2020 market assessment in Old and New Fangak as well as other towns in the area, REACH found that flooding had greatly reduced the local harvest, while the supply of market goods remained limited due to access restrictions.4 Since then, further abnormally high rainfall has occurred. Authorities in Fangak have appealed for humanitarian aid in response to the most recent floods in May 2021.
2.2 Intended impact
The intended impact of the assessment consists of three components:
To inform humanitarian organisations operation in Fangak county of the current state of humanitarian needs in relation to flooding, and of gaps in mitigation efforts.
To provide strategic actors in South Sudan with a case study of the evolution of needs in areas affected by protracted and recurring flooding. Given the high levels of flooding across South Sudan, this will give partners an insight into prioritisation of aid for flood-affected areas and specific response modalities that may be relevant across these areas.
To inform REACH’s future work on flood monitoring, including through remote sending. Through new climatefocused work streams, REACH South Sudan strives to monitor the levels of standing water in flood-affected areas, and the potential effects on humanitarian needs, but further research is needed to inform how this data should be interpreted. Visiting a flooded location will aid with this.