Flooding in South Sudan is a seasonal occurrence although the frequency in recent years has been much higher with the current situation seemingly the worst yet. The Government of South Sudan has officially declared a state of emergency for three months, with over 650 000 people already having been affected in 17 out of 18 states in the country (UNOCHA). This is creating major obstacles for humanitarian and aid organisations to reach those in need of critical assistance.
Heavy flooding has destroyed homes, schools and health facilities. Thousands have lost their homes, resulting in mass displacement. Poor road infrastructure in the country means that many of the affected areas remain cut off and are only accessible by air freight which remains very costly. Humanitarian food storage depots have either been completely destroyed, or there is simply no access to these areas due to the high water levels.
JAM’s response is to assist by meeting immediate needs and saving lives, through improved access to emergency food, nutrition, water and sanitation (WASH) training and the distribution of non-food items such as tarpaulins, mosquito nets and sanitary items. JAM has also procured a boat to assist in reaching those hard-to-reach, isolated communities with deliveries.
In the midst of the greatest pandemic of our time and the threat to efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19, there are rising fears of malaria outbreaks. Lack of access to clean water and inadequate hygiene practices due to overcrowding, is a major cause for concern, especially as these are vital elements in the fight against the Coronavirus.
This is an ever-growing humanitarian crisis which needs urgent response and long-term aid. With our teams on the ground, mobilising community members and relying on partner aid organisations, with limited resources, JAM is working to provide emergency relief wherever possible.
Global CEO and Co-founder