South Sudan rain floods create increased displaced homelessness, dysentery and malaria
Lys Anzia – WNN Breaking
(WNN) SOUTH SUDAN, AFRICA: Suffering from the effects from days of extreme heavy rains, Reliefweb has reported today that an estimated 17,000 displaced persons are now in the region due to floods in Duk County of Jonglie State, South Sudan.
Recent flood waters have also destroyed what has been counted as 300 plus homes in the Jonglie State Duk County region. Flood waters due to heavy rains have negatively impacted many of the roadways used to bring aid to the entire north border region of South Sudan which is already teaming with new conflict-displaced people who have fled the outbreak of military conflict between Sudan and South Sudan.
Many displaced persons in Duk County are now setting up temporary make-shift shelters along the Jonglei Canal said Duk County commissioner Elija Mochnom today during an interview with local radio station – Radio Miraya. Extreme hardship under current conditions are also raising health concerns with malaria in Duk County.
“Already there is an outbreak of Malaria. The situation will be very worse because there is no any assistance, people, they are already settling in Jonglei canal; they are using local materials to construct shelters, but there is nobody assisting them,” Mochnom told Radio Miraya. “The rain damaged three hundred and nine houses in Panarou and twenty three houses in Duk Padiet. The population around Panarrou is 17,500, so I am appealing to the state authority to look into that case.”
In response to the overall crisis on the border of Sudan and South Sudan, CERF – the Central Emergency Response Fund has been managing a pooled international humanitarian response for aid for refugees in crisis in neighboring Unity State and the Upper Nile State, a region that touches the border of Jonglie State. Those who have left their home regions due to conflict have been faced with many challenges including heavy rains, shortages of food, lack of sanitation and washed out roadways.
According the UNHCR, the United Nations Refugee Agency, childhood dysentery is also on the rise in the region. Approximately 161, 574 displaced persons have been counted to date by the UNHCR in the Unity and Upper Nile regions alone. This count however does not include recent displaced families in neighboring Jonglei State.
Only one year following South Sudan’s move for independence, the young country is facing what humanitarian agency Oxfam has said is “…its worst humanitarian crisis since the end of the war in 2005, under the weight of severe economic meltdown and ongoing conflict.” Long-term and emergency efforts to help nearly half the population, who don’t have enough to eat, could be derailed by an economy out of control says Oxfam.
“During the third week of July alone, 23 deaths from acute diarrhea were recorded [in Unity and Upper Nile]. Humanitarian agencies have stepped up hygiene and health outreach capacities to tackle the outbreak of acute diarrhea and other communicable diseases in all camps in Unity and Upper Nile state,” said a July 22 humanitarian bulletin from the UN-OCHA (Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs – South Sudan. “Meanwhile, lower respiratory tract infection and malnutrition are also highly prevalent. With the increase in rainfall there has been an increase in malaria cases. Nearly 400 cases of malaria were reported at health facilities since the beginning of July, according to health partners.”
Internal national spending on infrastructure and services such as new roads, schools, healthcare and water systems is being slashed, as the country faces economic catastrophe, says Oxfam International. “The price of food and fuel has reached unprecedented levels. Inflation shot from 21.3 percent in February to 80 percent in May, pushing essential food and supplies way beyond the reach of ordinary people. Half of South Sudan’s 9.7 million people are facing food shortages – more than double the number last year,” adds Oxfam.
In South Sudan’s Upper Nile region, where Oxfam has been delivering drinkable water and sanitation to refugees who continue to flee the fighting in Sudan, inflation and conflict have forced fuel prices up by 111 percent. A 200-liter barrel of fuel now costs up to $1,600 USD, compared to $600 in January 2012.
“One barrel lasts just two days to pump water into Oxfam’s water tanks for the 32,000 people in Jamam refugee camp,” says Oxfam.
Human rights journalist and radio producer Lys Anzia currently coordinates over 15 freelance journalists located in five separate global regions. She is also the Editor-at-Large for WNN – Women News Network. In addition to WNN, Anzia’s work can be seen on CURRENT TV, Vital Voices, AlertNet, Oxfam Afghanistan, UN Women, The Guardian News Development Network and Thomson Reuters Foundation Trustlaw, among others.
©2012 WNN – Women News Network
No part of this article release may be reproduced without prior permissions from WNN.
Short URL: http://womennewsnetwork.net/?p=17321