South Sudan: One Nation Under Water
South Sudan has faced many serious challenges in its 10-year history as an independent nation. They finally have a ceasefire from civil war, and droughts are a regular part of life. Droughts indirectly cause flooding, which might be their biggest challenge of all.
There have been regular floods in South Sudan since August, and the waters are still rising in December. Hundreds of thousands are displaced, especially in Unity State, where the floods have damaged 90 percent of the land. This season’s crops are submerged along with entire villages like Ding Ding. The water has been there so long that people are eating water lilies. Flood water has tainted clean well water. The results are tragic: Water-borne diseases like diarrhea and hepatitis E are causing widespread suffering. Malnutrition in children is the highest it has been since 2013.
People flee with makeshift rafts hoping to find UNICEF camps. New arrivals are overwhelming these camps. There are not enough latrines, clean water, or food.
The next rainy season is May. South Sudan needs an adequate drainage system. For now, they need to deal with the emergency and build sturdy dikes to minimize the damage.
CNN, The World’s Newest Nation is Both Drying Up and Drowning. December 7, 2021