Destruction by water

More than 600,000 people are affected by the floods in South Sudan. Jonglei state is one of the areas hardest hit.

Helene Sandbu Ryeng
children on a makeshift raft
27 September 2020

The rainy season started early this year and the amount of rain has caused flooding in several parts of South Sudan. Upper Nile, Lakes and Jonglei states are hardest hit. Some 600,000 people are affected.

a flooded water point

This water point in Pibor was rehabilitated before the flood. With the water level surpassing the water pump, the water is now contaminated by the flood water making it unsafe for drinking. When the water subsides, the water points will need to be rehabilitated, again.

A flooded house in Pibor

The water has swallowed many houses and displaced thousands of people. Many families have been displaced several times as the water levels are still increasing.

Flodded market

Most of the shops in the main market in Pibor are closed as the stalls are filled with water.

An antenna in water

Pibor, which is the capital of the Pibor Administrative Area, is blacked out as the antenna for the mobile network is standing in water and essential infrastructure for the antenna to work is flooded.

A sign post in flood water

The school in Verteth, a 1.5-hour-long boat ride up the river from Pibor, is flooded and will not reopen anytime soon. The Government of South Sudan has decided that candidate classes will resume 5 October 2020, but not in this school.

Maze crops destroyed by flood

Farms and crops are destroyed by the flood water, leaving many children and their families hungry.

Children standing in flood water

Women and children are hardest hit by the floods in South Sudan. UNICEF and partners are responding to the crisis by providing clean drinking water, sanitation and hygiene. Continuation of health and nutrition services have been a priority for UNICEF, including setting up makeshift clinics on dry land as existing structures got submerged in water. UNICEF has also supported separated families with family tracing and reunification services.

UNICEF has partnered with the World Bank to improve access to essential health services in Jonglei, including outreach activities. UNICEF South Sudan would like to thank the EU/ECHO, GAVI, UK Aid and USAID for their contributions to our nutrition, health and WASH programmes which becomes even more critical in times like these.