BOR, SOUTH SUDAN - An overflowing Nile River and heavy rains flooded the South Sudanese town of Bor this week, sweeping away homes and leaving hundreds of families without food or shelter.
Marth Aluel Akuei, a resident of the Lekyak area just outside Bor town, used mud to build a dyke around her damaged home. The three grass-thatched structures she owned — known as tukuls — were washed away in the flood.
"We are living in water," Akuei told VOA's South Sudan in Focus. "I am so worried about my children. Anything could hurt them in this flood area. The wind and rain have demolished this house."
A resident of the Hai-panjak area, Angeer Majer, 30, said she had to take refuge in a neighbor's house.
"It's very bad. My entire house is flooded. I am struggling now to see if I can get plastic sheets so that I can set up a tukul for me and my children," Majer told South Sudan in Focus.
Bor-area resident Lueth Alier said he does not feel safe walking to work through flooded areas because the overflowing Nile can bring "hostile animals" to residential streets.
"They are very dangerous sometimes, animals, like crocodiles, there in the water," he said.
Machar Machol Deng, deputy mayor for administration and finance in Bor municipality, says at least 1,200 households were affected by the flooding.
He said Bor authorities are trying to dig passageways so the water can drain, but they don't have the money to finish the work.
"The whole government is in financial constraints right now. The little fuel that we had, we utilized it. We have a bulldozer here, and this bulldozer can help us to open the drainages," Machol said.
Machol and local residents are appealing to governments and nongovernmental organizations to provide plastic sheeting for shelters, in addition to other aid.