Bor – The International Organization for Migration (IOM), the Kingdom of Netherlands, and the Government of South Sudan have launched a new project to address climate change concerns in South Sudan’s Jonglei State.
The project, which will last four years, aims to bolster the capacity of the Government of South Sudan to develop warning systems and climate-resilient infrastructure to reduce the impacts of climate change and the onset of flooding.
The initial phase of the project will provide local communities, government and partners with relevant hydrological data for informed intervention and strengthen the local capacities for better flood risk mitigation. The final phase will include targeted infrastructure development to keep the population safe from floods.
More than 100,000 people in Bor town and its surroundings will benefit from the pilot project undertaken by IOM and local partners including indigenous communities in close collaboration with the civil society.
“We are delighted to kick-start a project that will address several technical, capacity and information base barriers to enhance the effectiveness of flood management systems and reduce exposure to climate risks of vulnerable livelihoods and built environments”, said Peter Van der Auweraert, IOM South Sudan Chief of Mission.
Bor in South Sudan’s Jonglei State and its immediate surroundings have been one of the areas worst affected by flooding in the country. Recent weather and climate-related disasters have resulted in a heavy burden of fatalities, displacing over 500,000 people in 2021 alone.
“After experiencing floods for the last 3 years, we are happy to finally launch this project that will strengthen local capacities and provide infrastructure to protect the people of Bor town”, said Jelte van Wieren, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Netherlands to South Sudan.
“With this project we hope to bring the vast Dutch knowledge in water management to tackle floods in Bor in close collaboration with local actors.”
The project will take three interlinked approaches to reinforce outcomes:
Strengthen knowledge base on the vulnerability of communities to disaster-related risks. Strengthen capacities for effective community response to climate-related shocks through participatory disaster risk management mechanisms and early warning systems. Enhance resilience to climate-related shocks through strategic infrastructural interventions in targeted locations.
“We as the government of Jonglei State are happy to hear that IOM will be employing an evidence-based and scientific approach to managing flood related risk which has been impacting our community”, said the Acting Governor of Jonglei State, Hon. Antipas Nyok.
South Sudan is still at the nascent stage of accomplishing the environmental and climate commitments required to protect its vulnerable communities from climate-related shocks and natural hazards and has limited opportunities to foster a culture of prioritizing and embedding climate considerations into institutional policymaking and government budget allocations.
The country is already experiencing adverse effects of a warming climate but has limited capacity and resources to prepare and cope with increased climate change.
IOM has been implementing flood-response activities in Bor since 2020, supporting the community to repair and construct dikes to prevent floodwaters from causing damage to public infrastructure and particularly residential areas, as well as training the community in flood mitigation and preparedness approaches.
The “Bor Flood Risk Management Project” is funded by the Government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and implemented by IOM South Sudan, the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation, Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management and the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, in close collaboration with local communities and the civil society.