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Thousands Displaced by Flooding in South Sudan State

Warrap, South Sudan
Warrap, South Sudan

Thousands of residents of Warrap state in South Sudan have been displaced after heavy rains caused flash flooding that washed away entire villages, state officials and aid agencies said Tuesday.

Benjamin Yaathdit Wol, the director of the South Sudan Relief and Rehabilitation Commission in Warrap state, said officials know of at least 6,100 people who have been impacted by the flooding in two of the state's six counties, and fear the total figure is much higher.

"We have two counties where we have figures: Tonj South, where the flood has affected 3,000 households and Tonj North where we have already witnessed 3,126 households” that have been affected, Yaathdit said.

The floods also swept away livestock and destroyed crops, leaving people unable to provide food for themselves or their families,Tonj South County Commissioner William Wol Mayom said. In some places, the entire year's crop was damaged.

Because of a lack of clean drinking water, many people are suffering from dehydration, and, as if that were not enough, some displaced people have been bitten by snakes, Mayom added.

Aid officials said they have been able to reach some of the displaced in Tonj South, but have not yet been able to help people in Tonj North.

Iresh Nyambiki, who works for Italian charity Collaborazione Comitato Medica in Tonj South, said huge numbers of people have been displaced.

"They are on the roadside... There is no food, no clothes. They do not have even mosquito nets," she said.

The Italian charity's facilities have been flooded, impacting their ability to reach and help the displaced, she said.

The rains are expected to continue until November.