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Jonglei State requests $300,000 for flood aid

Officials in Jonglei have requested approximately $300,000 to tackle persistent flooding in the state, the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure reports.

Since summer, Jonglei State has been hit with waves of severe flooding that have left more than 400,000 people homeless and countless more poverty stricken.

Elijah Mabior Buol, the Director-General for the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure, suggested that Jonglei requires more than $150,000 to repair and reinforce the state’s 200km dyke system along the Nile.

“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 13.98m. As the Ministry, we have been handicapped. Our machinery was destroyed during the 2013 war. So, we need $150,000 to $300,000 to fix the dyke”, Mabior explained.

He added that “as a long-term plan to help save the towns if not the whole of Jonglei, we need a maximum of $300,000 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 argued that comprehensive repair and restructuring of the Jonglei dyke system will prevent reoccurring flooding.

“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 pleaded with the government in Juba and the international community for material and financial support in tackling the floods.

Local activists have also echoed the Minister’s demands. 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 noted.

In an interview with Radio Tamazuj last week, Deborah Schein, the United Nations Mission (UNMISS) in South Sudan head fornJonglei, noted the ‘appalling’ situation in Bor as floodwaters continued to rise.

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

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