South Sudan is experiencing severe flooding for the third consecutive year since 2019. As of 7 October, more than 623,000 people have been affected by flooding across eight of the country’s 10 states since May. The floods have escalated across the states with Jonglei and Unity being the most affected.
Particularly Jonglei state where wetlands and tributaries of the White Nile overflowed as seasonal rains arrived earlier than usual.
The floods have caused widespread devastation to livelihoods, submerging schools, health facilities and thousands of houses and displacing families. Many families have moved to higher ground such as embankments and roads where they are living in the open with minimum cover, hoping to return home once the floodwaters recede.
Food scarcity is a widespread concern. Over twothirds of the flood-affected counties face high levels of food insecurity. Most local people are subsistence farmers, but the recurring flooding has made agriculture impossible.
The worsening food insecurity situation has added a burden to the already vulnerable population, particularly the elderly and people with disabilities, and has left young girls and women with the responsibility to feed their families, hence exposing them to protection risks.
Ongoing flooding and infrastructure damage and reduced access due to insecurity have hampered the overall humanitarian sector’s response to the floods. Access is a major challenge, with the majority of flood-affected areas inaccessible by road. Some of the flood-affected counties are also highly insecure. Rains are forecast to continue over the coming weeks. The rainy season in South Sudan traditionally ran from April until October. However, as per recent years, the current rains are forecasted to last longer which is considered likely to be related to climate change.
Based on assessments, priority needs include food assistance, emergency shelter and non-food items, water, sanitation and hygiene services and hygiene kits, health and nutrition supplies and services, protection services and dignity kits.