President Salva Kirr declared a state of emergency in 27 flood-affected areas of South Sudan on Thursday, October 31. Some of the worst hit areas include Pibor, Bahr El Ghazal, Upper Nile, and Equatoria regions. According to the UN Office for Coordination for Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), almost 1 million people have been affected by flooding since July. Government officials are reporting that flooding has reach unprecedented levels in 2019, destroying crops and making some areas inaccessible. Aid organizations have also warned that the lack of access to markets, clean water, health facilities, and basic services is raising the risk of a famine and water-borne disease outbreaks such as cholera.
Further rain is expected across South Sudan through November, likely worsening current conditions.
Individuals present in South Sudan are advised to keep abreast of the situation, avoid areas directly hit by flooding, confirm road conditions before heading out, and adhere to any orders issued by the local authorities or their home governments. Remember that driving or walking through running water can be dangerous - 15 cm (6 in) of running water is enough to knock over an adult - and that floodwater may contain wastewater or chemical products; all items having come into contact with the water should be disinfected and all foodstuffs discarded. Be aware that the risk of contracting water- and mosquito-borne diseases tends to rise after periods of heavy rainfall.
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