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South Sudan: Floods - Operations Update n° 1, MDRSS010 (24 January 2022)

South Sudan
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Humanitarian conditions

The country has faced floods for three consecutive years and the current flooding has worsened the already dire situation, and people have no food and no land to cultivate. Fields are submerged by floodwater and higher grounds are overcrowded with makeshift structures. People have been forced to leave their flooded houses to higher grounds, makeshift shelters and host families. The flooding is creating a perfect breeding ground for mosquitos, while most people don’t even have mosquito nets, leaving them dangerously exposed to diseases. The cumulative impact of the loss of harvests, cattle deaths and floods have led to the collapse of traditional livelihoods. The situation has limited food stocks in the few available functional markets and the supply of these stocks has been cut off. This has forced the food prices to go up. People have waited for flood water to recede and have watched the flood increase day by day since June 2021.

Snakebites have increased and health and water-related illnesses are feared to rise, however health facilities have been flooded and few remaining facilities lack basic drugs and medical supplies, sanitation and hygiene materials.
The rains have increased and water levels have gone up in affected areas risking more people being displaced.
Vulnerable groups continue to bear the brunt of issues related to disruptions in families, separation with increased mental health and psychosocial burden. The food insecurity situation adds a burden to the already stressed population, particularly the elderly and people with disability and has left young girls and women in many locations with the responsibility to feed their families, exposing them to protection risks. The elderly, women-headed households, orphans, child-headed households will be significantly affected since their livelihoods are uprooted and nobody is taking care of them.

The Bentiu displacement camp that has been hosting 107,130 people is now hosting 120,000 people and is surrounded by floodwaters cutting its access by road and is kept away from flooding by a 3 metres high dyke. The floodwater level has since risen to 1.5 metres high by November 2021 and if the flooding continues, those in the camp will be at the brink of serious flooding.

SSRC completed assessments in all the affected areas. The assessments took longer due to limited access since roads have been cut off and airstrips flooded. In many cases, the use of boats has been the only option to reach the affected populations.