More than 835,000 people were reported as affected by flooding across the country since May. The decrease in number from 854,000 at end November is due to a revision following the mission to Duk Islands in early December.
People in Jonglei, Unity and Upper Nile states are the worst affected by the floods.
Humanitarian organizations are providing emergency relief and community-based support to flood-affected people as resources allow.
Almost 620,000 flood-affected people have been reached with some form of humanitarian assistance, as of the end of November.
Physical access continues to be a challenge to assess and respond to needs while funding constraints has made it difficult to meet increasing needs.
Widespread flooding since May has continued to impact people and their livelihoods across South Sudan. More than 835,000 people were reported as affected by flooding in 33 of 78 counties, as of 8 December. The decrease in number from 854,000 at end November follows verification of the numbers of people impacted on Duk Islands where fewer people were found than those reported. Jonglei, Unity and Upper Niles remain the worst impacted states, with some 80 per cent of the total cumulative number of affected people. Jonglei is the hardest hit with 305,000 people affected, followed by Unity (220,000 affected) and Upper Nile (141,000 affected).
Homes, nutrition and health facilities, water sources, schools and markets are submerged, impacting people’s access to essential services, eroding their coping mechanisms and exacerbating vulnerability. The flooding has displaced thousands of people, many of whom have taken refuge on higher ground within their county, with many sheltering in churches, schools and public spaces. Floods destroyed farmland and crops, affecting seasonal harvest, placing at risk the next planting season, and killed a large number of livestock. People in some affected areas have reportedly no access to safe water, increasing the risk of waterborne diseases. Floodwaters continue to threaten people in areas such as in Bentiu town in Unity State where flood-affected people, including those in the Bentiu displacement camp, are in a dire situation. The floodwaters remain standing and stagnant, with no sign of receding resulting in longer term displacement.
In other areas, such as Jonglei and Upper Nile, water continues to rise as water overflowed or broke barriers.
Humanitarians continue to respond to the immediate needs of flood-affected people with services which include food assistance, healthcare, plastic sheeting for temporary shelter, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services, nutritional supplies and relief items including mosquito nets, fishing kits and dignity kits, however resources are limited. As of the end of November 2021, humanitarians reached 619,000 people with food assistance; almost 477,000 people were provided with emergency water, sanitation and hygiene response; some 227,000 people provided with health services, including out-patient consultations. An estimated 237,000 people received various protection services; some 220,000 people were supported with camp coordination and camp management services; and almost 185,000 people reached with shelter and non-food items. Some 146,000 people were assisted with nutrition support; 181,000 people supported with education in emergency services; and approximately 132,000 people reached with livelihood support.
In collaboration with government authorities, the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and local communities, humanitarian organizations are working tirelessly to prevent further flooding in areas such as Bentiu.
Community-based support is being provided through cash-for-work and food-for-work assistance, with flood-affected communities working alongside humanitarian organizations to repair and build dykes. In Bentiu town, water pumps and excavators have been deployed to prevent further flooding of airstrips, the Bentiu displacement camp, the main supply route and higher grounds.
Physical access remains a major challenge for humanitarian organizations to reach affected people as roads become impassable and communities are cut off by floodwaters. In the northern part of Lakes State, some 60,000 affected people in Cueibet, Rumbek Centre and North counties are beyond reach due to roads flooding. Humanitarian organizations must rely on air and rivers to transport relief supplies and to access the affected areas, which are costly. Recurrent conflict and sub-national violence in the flood-affected areas, particularly in Warrap, Western Equatoria and Unity states, are deterring the ability to verify people’s needs and the response.
Funding constraints and limited core pipeline supplies continue to be a challenge, which hinders the overall response.
Although humanitarian organizations are using resources from existing programmes, these are inadequate to address the increasing needs of flood-affected people. As increasing numbers of people are affected, humanitarian organizations are unable to reach all those in need despite prioritization.
The South Sudan Humanitarian Fund (SSHF) has allocated US$20 million, with part of the allocation supporting flood response efforts, complementing bilateral funding sources. The UN Central Emergency Response Fund, focusing on lifesaving activities in flood-affected areas, has allocated some $13 million. Of the US$1.7 billion requested in the 2021 South Sudan Humanitarian Response Plan, $1.13 billion or 68 per cent has been received, as of 14 December.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.