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Flooding in South Sudan – Nyataba’s story

Heavy rain last year led to some of the worst flooding South Sudan has experienced in decades, with the banks of the Nile and other smaller rivers overflowing. Floods in the Koch and Rubkona Counties, Unity State, were amongst the worst, affecting more than 10,000 households, along with the farmland and livestock which many rely on for their livelihoods.

Thanks to emergency funding from Start Network, Age International and HelpAge International were able to provide aid to those affected through our in-country partner HDC. Nyataba Gai, 68, from Koch County told us her experience of the flooding.

Women, children, older people and people with disabilities were amongst the most affected by the unexpected flood in Nyataba’s village in mid-July. Nyataba, who is blind and a single mother of two, described the day it happened:

“The flood was very severe that night and it raised a very serious threat where most victims slept in the water, this prompted the people to start evacuating the area”

Nyataba told us that the impact of the flood was felt across the state, with the loss and destruction of houses, farmland, services and lives. Whilst the flood survivors were moved to higher ground, they had no food or shelter and had to sleep in the open under trees. With no immediate signs of a response from the government, she thought help might never reach them, so she was relieved to get assistance from HDC:

“My special thanks to those who provided the support to us as we were so desperate, we thought that nobody would follow us to where we were displaced”

Over 400 older people like Nyataba were able to receive essential items such as sleeping mats, plastic sheets and mosquito nets and HDC distributed collapsible jerry cans and chlorine tablets which ensured that hundreds of older people had access to clean drinking water.

HDC also conducted mobile health clinics, enabling older people to get advice on nutrition and avoiding the spread of disease, as well as healthcare and referrals for treatment.

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Last updated: Mar 18 2022

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