South Sudan should brace for destructive flash floods, says minister

South Sudanese have been warned of incoming flash floods following rise in water level of the largest Lake in the region.
Pal Mai Deng, (4th-Right) with development partners and other government officials after attending consultative meeting in Juba on Friday.

By Awan Achiek

South Sudanese have been warned of incoming flash floods following rise in water level of the largest Lake in the region.

 Pal Mai Deng, Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation said that the Ugandan government was forced to release more water into the Nile River after the water levels in Lake Victoria rose above the usual levels.

Lake Victoria is one of the water sources that feed the Nile River.

“According to them (Uganda), this increase has been one of the highest ever recorded in the history of flooding in 128 years in the Nile basin region, and due to this water rise, the amount of water that is coming to Jinja dam in Uganda is overwhelming,” Deng said during a consultative meeting with development partners held in Juba on Thursday.

“And because of that the retention capacity of Jinja Dam is overwhelming, too much and the government of Uganda is forced to release that massive amount of water, which is 2,400 cubic meters per second downstream into South Sudan,” he disclosed.

Deng said the unprecedented floods expected from October to December this year will severely affect Unity State, Upper Nile, Jonglei, and some parts of Lakes and Warrap States.

“This release regime is quite abnormal and definitely is going to cause flooding in South Sudan, and this flooding we are going to experience as a country is going to be higher than that of 2020, 2021 and even 2019,” he said.

Deng said the government is mobilizing resources to respond to the unprecedented floods to hit the country in 128 years.

“This is an emergency situation that calls for action and actually agreed with those who spoke before me that this is time for us to move away from discussions and policy paperwork to real action,” he said.

For his, Dr. Ader Macar Aciek, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Health appealed to the ministries to join hands together to fight the floods with little resources available.

“My appeal to the international community and other developmental partners, you have seen the effect of climate Change in South Sudan and we are not yet industrialized, so there is moral responsibility toward those developed countries,” Macar said.

Joseph Africano Bartel, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry said South Sudan needs 100 billion U.S. dollars to fight the effect of climate change by 2050.

“For us to be climate proof by 2050, South Sudan needs 100 billion dollars. So whatever we are talking about here that amount of money should be there,” Africano said.

He stressed the need to set up early measures to reduce the impact of the incoming floods before they cost lives, damage properties and affect livelihoods.

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