Nyaniek Paulino Weer, a 28-year-old mother of three lost everything when her house was swept by the flood early this month. “I am thankful my children are safe”, she says. For two nights, they found refuge in a nearby petrol station until they were assisted. Nyaniek’s husband is working in neighboring Sudan.
Thirty-two-year old Teresa Petani, a mother of four was staying with her pregnant sister when the water came. She was able to save one suitcase of things and a mattress before the house collapsed. The family is desperate for help and Teresa is worried of her sister’s condition. “I need to return and check what was left of our house”, she says.
An estimated 30,000 people in Renk County, a part of South Sudan’s Greater Upper Nile State, woke up to vast flooding after days of heavy rains. The roads that link Jelhak, Chumedi and Molbog counties were damaged, making access very difficult.
The multi-agency assessment team together with South Sudan's Relief and Rehabilitation Commission (RRC) expressed concern not just on the safety of the people but also of the contamination of water points that can lead to water-borne diseases.
"The recent flooding in South Sudan's Renk County has wrought havoc to more than 30,000 people. Without immediate assistance and battling COVID-19, the short and long-term impact to communities will be severe. Rapid assistance is urgent for the people's needs”, says Dr. Mesfin Loha, World Vision’s Country Programme Director.
World Vision’s water treatment plant being supported by Global Affairs Canada (GAC) supplies clean water to the entire population of the county apart from responding to emergencies. Sedimentation is expected to increase cost of the treatment and potential destruction of the plant itself is being prevented.
This further complicated the lives of an already vulnerable population, increasing their risks of malaria and other diseases. We are doing our best to ensure urgent supply of food, essential drugs, water treatment supplies as well as restoring destroyed sanitation facilities.
As an initial response, World Vision distributed sitting mats, aqua tabs, jerry cans and other water-treatment supplies to over 3.500 people while 40 boxes of soap and 100 rolls of fabric are being transported. Hygiene staff are on the ground working with the response team.
“The fabric rolls have multi-purpose use such as beddings, clothing and children’s protection from cold weather. Each household affected will be given 4 pieces at three meters each as part of the non-food items (NFI) kits being distributed”, explains Dr. Madeleine Bilonda, World Vision’s Operations Director.
World Vision also implements other projects in the county such the the COVID-19 awareness campaign supported by UNICEF, health initiatives assisted by World Bank and UNICEF and the food assistance program with the World Food Programme (WFP) benefitting 12,965 people.
Amos Musembi, currently Team Lead for World Vision’s Upper Nile Zone shares, “This further complicated the lives of an already vulnerable population, increasing their risks of malaria and other diseases. We are doing our best to ensure urgent supply of food, essential drugs, water treatment supplies as well as restoring destroyed sanitation facilities.”
The assessment team appeals for support on food rations for over 13,000 people, immediate reconstruction of 350 emergency latrines and other water treatment supplies, 4,000 water containers, repair of water pumps and unclogging of drainage systems, trucking delivery of clean water and supply of essential drugs, among others.
“We need urgent help to achieve this and prevent further fragility amidst this covid-19 pandemic. We are at the peak of the rainy season in this part of the country and we are worried of the children’s condition”, Musembi concludes.
Renk County is located at the border of Sudan and one of the 13 counties of Upper Nile State with an estimated 205,922 population.
Story by Cecil Laguardia, Communications Manager I Photos by Abuoy Thuch, WASH Officer and Melut Team