Activists demand Kiir visit flood hit regions
Okot Emmanuel, Jonglei State
A network of civil society activists have implored the President to visit areas affected by recent flooding and to see the suffering of the citizens.
In a recent appeal, David Garang, chairperson of Jonglei State Civil Society Network, asserted he was “appealing to the president to come out and visit the areas which are devastated by the floods”.
Jonglei state and Pibor administrative area have been in states of emergency since August as a result of sporadic violence and flooding. This area includes Bor, Renk, Pibor, Pochalla, Ibba and parts of Kapoeta.
The South Sudanese constitution dictates that the President may declare a state of emergency whenever a disaster has occurred, or is likely to occur, to mitigate the humanitarian impact.
The law also states that a declaration of a state of emergency may suspend certain functions of government, alter the civil rights of individual citizens, or allow government agencies to implement crisis plans.
It is in light of this that Garang argues that the state of emergency in Jonglei and Pibor has served no purpose other than to make local citizens suffer.
“Come and see how the citizens of South Sudan are suffering…and go back and decide how to help them” he asserted.
Recent flooding in greater Jonglei has occurred at unprecedented levels, report local officials. Photos circulating on social media show women and children sheltering on high ground, out of the reaches of the flood.
The UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs estimate approximately 800,000 people have been affected by flooding in areas along the Nile River since July, with over 360,000 people displaced.