South Sudan’s Government, Netherlands’ embassy to construct dykes in Jonglei 

The Ministry of Environment and Forestry in partnership with the Netherlands embassy have agreed to construct dykes in flood prone Jonglei State.

Josephine Napwon Cosmos, the Minister of Environment and Forestry revealed on Monday that the Netherlands embassy is ready to fund the construction of dykes in the state that has been hit by heavy flooding since last year.

She said that her ministry is also in the process of installing an Early Warning System to forecast and predict extreme weather events such as floods, droughts and heat waves.

“This system will alert our citizens such that they take precautions and prepare for eventuality. Since these floods are going to be frequent, the only remedy is for our people in the affected areas to relocate from the floodplains to higher grounds and areas,” Napwon told journalists in Juba.

Nearly a million were affected by heavy flooding since 2021 exacerbating the already dire humanitarian situation in the country with most of the affected states being Jonglei, Unity and Upper Nile States.

“According to the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, these impacts are projected to worsen since the world temperature has risen by 1.2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. We will be experiencing recurrent floods, droughts, heat waves, excessive temperatures and the invasion of exotic species and appearance of new diseases,” Napwon observed.

She disclosed that South Sudan has no option but to mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change. 

The ministry of environment has already developed the National Adaptation Programs of Action (NAPA), the National Adaptation Plan (NAP) and the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC). 

All these strategies and plans require 100 billion U.S dollars to be operationalized. 

Napwon disclosed that the transitional unity plans to raise 20 billion dollars of the total budget by 2050 and expects the remaining 80 billion dollars to be provided by the international community. 

She noted that the floods have not only affected the livelihoods of people but also disrupted oil production leading to contamination of water bodies and polluted soils and grazing lands.

“Many oil wells have been affected therefore, a comprehensive environmental audit of all the oil fields in the country is to be conducted,” Napwon revealed.

Adding that the ministry of environment and forestry in collaboration with the ministry of petroleum have already selected three environmental firms to conduct the environmental audit of the oil spills.

“It is worth mentioning that since we inherited the oil operations from Sudan, the oil companies that are operating in the country are not adhering to high environmental standards. The upcoming audit will expose all the misdeeds and hopefully come up with mitigation measures, recommendations and the way forward,” Napwon said.

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