South Sudan

South Sudan Flooding Situation Report: Inter-Cluster Coordination Group - As of 31 January 2021

Situation Report
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This report is produced by OCHA South Sudan on behalf of the Inter-Cluster Coordination Group (ICCG). It covers the period from 1 July 2020 to 31 January 2021. This is the final situation report covering the 2020 flooding response.


  • An estimated 1,066,000 people were affected by floods in South Sudan from 1 July 2020 to 31 January 2021.
  • Some 495,000 people were affected in Jonglei State and the Greater Pibor Administrative Area, the worst affected areas.
  • Flood-affected people’s urgent needs included food and livelihood support, emergency shelter and non-food items (ES/NFI), water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), health and protection services.
  • Flood-response activities have been considerably constrained by persistent heavy rains, infrastructure damage and reduced physical accessibility, funding constraints, and insecurity.
  • The COVID-19 emergency response depleted ES/NFI and WASH core pipeline stocks. Delays in replenishing core pipelines due to border and travel restrictions resulted in delayed flood response.


Abnormally heavy rainfall from July to October 2020 led to the overflow of the Nile, Pibor, Sobat, Lol and other rivers. The rains led to inland flooding, mainly in the eastern and central parts of the country. The flooding caused large-scale displacement of people and cattle and damaged/destroyed crops and property. An estimated 1,066,000 people were affected by the flooding in eight of ten states and one administrative area in South Sudan between July 2020 and January 2021. Of the people affected, an estimated 504,000 were displaced. Jonglei and Greater Pibor Administrative Area have been the worst affected (495,000 people), followed by Lakes (147,000 people), Unity (126,000 people), Upper Nile (100,000 people), Warrap (60,000 people), Western Equatoria (53,000 people), Central Equatoria (40,000 people) and Northern Bahr-el-Ghazal (15,000 people).

Humanitarian organizations conducted 50 multi-cluster initial rapid needs assessments (IRNAs) between July 2020 and January 2021 to assess the impact of the flooding on affected people and to identify their key immediate needs. Most of the flood-affected counties have now been reached with assistance. A multi-cluster response complemented the response in many counties, especially by the ES/NFI, WASH and health clusters. A total of 13 ‘priority 1’ counties were initially identified, and 233,000 flood-displaced people were targeted with lifesaving assistance. An additional 219,000 displaced people were targeted for emergency flood response in 22 ‘priority 2’ counties. Women and children were identified as among the most affected and in need of urgent assistance.

The ICCG launched a three-phased approach to respond to the needs of the flood affected populations. In the first phase, launched in August 2020 for an initial period of 3 months, partners delivered life-saving emergency assistance including ES/NFIs (mosquito nets, plastic sheets, rubber ropes, and face masks), WASH (aqua tabs, PUR sachets, collapsible jerry cans, filter cloth and soap), FSL (fishing kits and emergency food), health (replenishment of emergency health kits) and Protection (dignity kits for women and girls). Additional support was directed towards emergency repair and rehabilitation of dykes along densely populated areas in Bor South and Twic East counties. In the second phase, launched in November 2020 for an period of two months, partners delivered assistance to restore affected community services, health services including oral cholera vaccination campaigns in Pibor and Bor South as a preventive measure and to complement WASH infrastructure improvement measures such as sanitation of boreholes, repair of degraded/damaged schools and health facility latrines.

The third phase was launched in September 2020 running in parallel with phases 1 and 2 and involved Jonglei State dykes repairs. This phase is meant for an initial period of 2-4 years. The stakeholders involved in the Jonglei State dyke repairs include the Jonglei State Government, the Floods Management Initiative (FMI), WFP, IOM and UNMISS. Leveraging nexus opportunities, the stakeholders have agreed on an implementation framework for short- and medium-term dyke repair and initiatives to be ready before the onset of the 2021 flooding season, and longer-term (2-4 years) disaster management and strategy plan. The immediate short-term response started in September 2020 with quick dyke repairs and building of secondary dykes and community mobilization to engage in dyke repairs. The medium-term response started in December 2020 and included drainage of flooded roads and rehabilitation of roads to open up access to rest of Jonglei state. Longer term stage started in January 2021 and includes urban and drainage planning, sustainable flood control and establishment of National, State, and County level disaster management and early warning systems. In January 2021, the Clusters have completed a review of the lessons learnt and best practices of 2020 flood response and have started working on a flooding response preparedness strategy for of the 2021 flooding season

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