UNMISS and humanitarian partners battling floods in Bentiu, South Sudan, to protect IDPs
Juba, 12 October 2022 – Engineers from the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and humanitarian partners have managed to repair flooding-induced breaches of dykes that protect an internally displaced persons camp, housing over 100,000 persons in Bentiu, the capital of Unity State. Intense rainfall over the past weekend caused sections of the dykes to give way, resulting in the flooding of the IDP camp.
The joint efforts of the UN peacekeepers, humanitarian partners, and local community members, are now yielding results, as the water levels begin to recede. They are also continuing extra work to ensure that the local airstrip remains open and functional.
“We continue to strengthen the area which was breached. Dyke monitoring and placement of sandbags to patch the seepage have increased, and we are working around the clock to recover the road leading to the local airstrip to ensure the delivery of life saving services,” stated Nicholas Haysom, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for South Sudan, and Head of UNMISS.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has also hired dyke monitors at the IDP site, to help check the dykes, section by section. They’ve also quickly provided three pumps from Juba to Bentiu to assist with the recovery of the flooded areas. When weaknesses are discovered, sandbags are used to repair them temporarily, until dedicated expert IOM teams implement permanent solutions.
The Mission is now working to repair roads to the north of Bentiu to secure the trade route from the north, as the southern access to Bentiu town has been submerged by the flooding.
Bentiu has experienced unusually heavy rainfall over the past four years.