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BOR - 23 Nov 2020

Jonglei needs $300,000 to tackle floods

South Korean engineering troops serving with UNMISS constructing a temporary dyke in Bor. [Photo:UNMISS] unprecedented floods.
South Korean engineering troops serving with UNMISS constructing a temporary dyke in Bor. [Photo:UNMISS] unprecedented floods.

An official in the Jonglei State ministry of physical infrastructure says the state needs about USD 300,000 to tackle the recurring floods in the state.

Jonglei State has been hit by floods over the last few months. According to reports, more than 400,000 people have been left homeless, livelihoods destroyed and lives lost as the floodwaters continue to rise. 

In an interview with Radio Tamazuj on Saturday, Elijah Mabior Buol, the director-general for the state physical infrastructure ministry, said they need more than USD 150,000 for the rehabilitation of the 200-kilometers dyke along the Nile River to tackle the annual flooding in the state. 

“The whole area has been submerged in the floodwaters for four months now. The floods come from the Eastern Equatoria highlands and the Nile which recorded the highest level of 13.98 m. As the ministry, we have been handicapped. Our machinery was destroyed during the 2013 war. So, we need USD 150,000 to USD 300,000 to fix the dyke,” Mabior explained. 

He added, “As a long-term plan to help save the towns if not the whole of Jonglei, we need a maximum of 300,000 US dollars for the machineries to be operational. This will help us build a durable 200 kilometers dyke from Bangacharot near Mangalla to the Akeer area in the north.”

Mabior pointed out that the dyke will help prevent the recurring floods in the hard-hit areas of Jonglei. 

“The floodwaters always claim grazing areas, so if we get the money or someone donates the machinery to fix the dyke, cattle keepers will be leaving their areas. Again, there will be a protection to people and their properties,” he stressed. 

Mabior earnestly pleaded with the national government and the international community for the much-needed material and financial support in tackling the floods.

For his part, Bol Deng, an activist in Bor, also appealed for support but urged the state authorities to embark on emergency plans to save lives.

“This long-term plan is not bad. It is a very good plan. But what people need now is a short-term plan to save their lives. Bring the army to help the local youth fix a temporary dyke so that people can return to their homes,” he stressed. 

Last week, Deborah Schein, the UNMISS head for the field office in Jonglei told Radio Tamazuj that the situation in the state capital, Bor, was appalling as the floodwaters increase.  

She called on the government to embark on a long-term plan which includes building permanent dykes in the state. 

Last week, UNMISS engineering troops started the construction of a temporary dyke to protect the residents of Bor from further flooding.