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UNMISS efforts hailed in controlling floods in Unity State

The government of Unity State has applauded the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) the successful partnership in mitigating floods in Bentiu town and Runkona County.

“As government, we have been working in partnership with UNMISS in mitigation of the flood disasters, we have come a long way and we have managed to control the flood from engulfing the state,” Tor Tungwar, the deputy governor for Unity State told journalists on Monday.

He said these remarks while meeting the visiting team of the UNMISS from Juba.

Tungwar said heavy floods started in June 2019 in Panyijier County cutting off Rubkona County.

“We have been working in upgrading of the dykes, we have secured Bentiu as well as Rubkona, we have constructed over 7 km in Rubkona and we have more in Bentiu headquarters,” he said.

Tungwar said the newly upgraded Bentiu-Mayom road connecting Unity State to Juba and Roriak-kaikang road linking South Sudan to neighboring Sudan are helping transit of humanitarian assistance in the state.

 Maj.Haris Sharif, the flood officer with Pakistani peacekeeping battalion, said Bentiu is flooded mainly because of the choked Bahr El Ghazel River, adding that cleaning Bahr El Ghazel River will ease flow of water into the Nile River.

“Bentiu is low land area, the flooding has affected 5600 square km that span up to 70 km, the level of livelihoods and livestock in Bentiu and people living in IDP camps has been destroyed,” Sharif said.

“Our main airstrip and IDP camp all got threatened by flooding situation, the dykes set up are temporary measure, we need to clear Bahr El Ghazel River,” he added.

 James Chieng, Chairperson for Relief and Rehabilitation Commission in Unity State, said they are hosting huge number of people displaced by floods over the past years.

He added the influx of returnees from neighboring Sudan is also putting pressure on the already scarce resources.

 “Unity State is flooded for three years now, we have three categories, we have about 120,000 in IDP camp, we have 50,000 outside IDP camp in Bentiu besides the returnees, now we have 7700 plus 1700 still coming from Upper Nile,”

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