“The flood came at night when everyone was asleep. The water woke us up when our beds got submerged. We ran for our lives and left all our things behind”, Delphina recalls her experience from the recent flood that swept Juba, South Sudan’s capital. Delphina Lambe, an 18-year-old student, and her family lost everything they owned when their house was carried away by the flood.
Over 100 households took refuge at one of World Vision’s women and girls friendly spaces in Tokiman, Rajaf Payam in Juba. “At that time of the night, there was nowhere for us to go. We decided to seek refuge at the center. I am very sad that I have lost my school materials but now I am miserable thinking of the children who are at risk of getting sick”, Delphina says.
She adds, “For the past three days, we sleep outside without mosquito nets and food. The babies cried throughout the nights. My other worry is we packed ourselves in this one room at risk from COVID-19. I wondered all along how safe is everyone.”
The extensive flooding in many areas in South Sudan in 2020 led to significant displacement across the country. Over the past few months, there has been a large influx of flood-affected people. The most-affected is Jonglei and Central Equatoria states. It is estimated that over 800,000 people are affected countrywide with approximately 368,000 people displaced, according to a UN report.
Worsolina Jorom, whose grandchild was born the night of the floods shares, “My daughter delivered her child in the water and I was afraid the baby would not make it. There was no single clothing to hold and keep the baby warm and protected. We thank World Vision gave us some of the baby’s urgent needs and food. We are thankful to God that the baby is fine”.
All they have are clothes on their back. As a mother myself, this worries me a lot because children can get pneumonia and other health complications.
Currently, World Vision is providing psychosocial support, COVID-19 awareness-raising, and proper hygiene practices at the site. World Vision has ongoing projects in the area such as the awareness campaign, food security and livelihood, and protection (women and girls friendly spaces).
World Vision’s protection team on arrival at the center in the morning met the displaced people and distributed essential relief supplies needed by the most vulnerable children and families.
Stella Pita, a mother of seven children adds, “We are in dire need right now. I call on World Vision, government, and other NGOs to respond to our needs, I have not felt peace in my heart ever since we moved here. I worry for my children and their wellbeing.”
“We never lacked food as farmers, but now the floods have destroyed our farms. What do we do next? We need food, clean water, and supplies. Our children’s lives are at risk of diseases and malnutrition. Please help us”, Stella says.
Emilienne Cyuzuzo, World Vision’s Food and Cash Assistance Manager, shares, “I have interacted with mothers with young children who lost everything. All they have are clothes on their back. As a mother myself, this worries me a lot because children can get pneumonia and other health complications.”
The displacement created pressure on the already stretched dire humanitarian situation in the country, Cyuzuzo said. Funding opportunities are dwindling and the COVID-19 pandemic is still causing a lot of fear and uncertainty. World Vision is distributing life-saving support to the flood-affected families living in Mangala IDP camps along with food assistance supported by the World Food Programme.
Story and photos by Scovia Faida Charles Duku, Communications Coordinator