Hundreds of thousands of South Sudanese are expected to face disastrous consequences during this year’s rainy season, according to aid organisations, except emergency international assistance is provided to mitigate the worst effects.
Over the last three years, record rainfall has impacted an estimated 835,000 people, killed roughly 800,000 cattle, and inundated thousands of hectares of farmland, making it impossible for people to cultivate the flooded area.
South Sudan had its worst floods in history last year. This year’s rainy season, which begins in May, is expected to be considerably worse, according to forecasters. According to the United Nations Refugee Agency, flood waters have not appreciably decreased in 33 of 79 counties since the last wet season.
Thousands of people have been relocated in the hardest-hit Jonglei, Unity, and Upper Nile states, according to the report.
Andrew Harper, the UNHCR’s senior adviser on climate change, recently returned from a trip to South Sudan. He warns that the country is on the verge of a disaster.
“We have got villages, which are hosting tens of thousands of people who are doing whatever they can to resist the onslaught of an increasingly hostile climate…The roads and logistics of getting supplies and support throughout South Sudan are pretty horrible at the best of times and so these roads no longer exist for the vast number of locations,” said Harper.
Intercommunal ethnic-based violence, according to Harper, is widespread throughout the country. According to him, this raises security concerns for relief workers as well as their capacity to reach out to those in need.
He claims that the threats deter villagers in hazardous climate zones from relocating to other locations, where they may encounter violence.
Harper is pleading with the world community to provide more assistance to the people of South Sudan. Otherwise, he warns, the climatic problem, compounded by the country’s continuous insecurity, will leave people without a way of surviving.
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