Dates2022 - 2023
- Locations South Sudan, Bentiu, Malakal, Abyei
Climate Change Flooding and the plight of the internally displaced population of South Sudan
Catastrophic flooding, driven by the earth’s changing climate, is ravaging South Sudan. The fledgling nation has endured torrential rainfall events for four consecutive years which has led to the inundation of two-thirds of the country.
Villages, grazing land and livestock have been destroyed and inhabitants have fled their homes and livelihoods, intensifying the humanitarian crisis that continues after years of war. UNOCHA estimates that 2.2 million inhabitants are currently internally displaced due to flooding. The capital of the province of Unity State, Bentiu, is one of the worst affected areas. Humanitarian built Bentiu IDP camp, the town and surrounding regions have been isolated by floodwaters.
The mass internal displacement of people has led to increased food insecurity as arable land and grazing space contracts. The physical isolation of inhabited regions means that supplies aren’t able to reach their intended destinations. Scarcity of resources – particularly in regional areas - leads to conflict, further exacerbating despair. Malnutrition, particularly among young children and pregnant and lactating women, is an increasing concern. UNOCHA estimates that 1.3 million children under the age of 5 and 670, 000 pregnant and lactating women are at risk of acute malnourishment.
Vector-borne disease, such as Malaria, and water-borne illnesses causing acute watery diarrhea are increasing. Flood waters are driving snakes into populated areas and into more frequent contact with humans; incidents of snakebite have increased.
Globally, funding for humanitarian causes is stretched. Demands for assistance in countries like Ukraine, Sri Lanka and Iran have seen resources directed away from South Sudan. UNOCHA reports that funding for aid in South Sudan is currently at approximately 66% of what is required to adequately support the population. International aid organisations and the United Nations are appealing to the international community for more funds and for greater participation in the recovery effort by the South Sudanese government.
The existence and continued threat of violent conflict compounds an already fraught situation where access to flood affected areas and resourcing constraints present daily challenges. These images depict the situation as it was in South Sudan in August and September 2022.