World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


South Sudan: water shortages hit crisis point


ICRC Bulletin
20 September 2012

South Sudan: water shortages hit crisis point in refugee camps

Severe water shortages in refugee camps in South Sudan close to the Sudanese border have helped drive upcontributed to a rise in mortality and malnutrition rates to alarming levels, in what is a major humanitarian crisis. The ICRC has launched a project to improve water access for about 37,000 people in Yusuf Batil refugee camp.

Fleeing armed conflict, many thousands of Sudanese refugees from Blue Nile state in Sudan have flooded into South Sudan's Maban county, Upper Nile state, since September 2011. Their numbers have been increasing since May. Living in remote areas at home, most arrive exhausted after an arduous journey on foot that can last weeks. They have found shelter in isolated camps whose stretched resources are often insufficient to cover peoples' basic needs.

"The humanitarian situation in Yusuf Batil camp in particular is extremely worrying. Conditions are dire and survival remains a struggle. Due Owing to the lack of clean water, people are drinking contaminated surface water. Children are especially vulnerable to death from water-borne diseases such as diarrhoea," said Melker Mabeck, head of the ICRC delegation in South Sudan. "The ICRC is tackling this emergency by expanding the camp's water infrastructure and distributing jerry cans and buckets so people are better able to collect and store water."

Water infrastructure

The ICRC plans to install water distribution piping, storage tanks, tapstands and pumps to provide enough water for half the camp's population. This should ease pressure on existing systems and bring overall water access in the camp up to the minimum required standard. Currently refugees in Yusuf Batil have access to very limited quantities only, with water coverage especially poor for those sheltered on the camp's peripheries.

In addition, the entire camp population will receive items to protect themselves from the elements, such as clothing, tarpaulin, blankets, mosquito nets and sleeping mats. Seasonal heavy rains, which will continue through to November, make the area extremely inhospitable, creating thick mud and large swathes of stagnant water. The rains also make transporting aid to the camp a logistical challenge, with all supplies having to be airlifted into the area.

Meanwhile in nearby Jamam refugee camp, also suffering from very limited water coverage, the ICRC is now close to completing a 15-kilometre distribution pipeline to provide better access to water for the 30,000 refugees sheltering there.

Restoring contact between family members

Some of the refugees flooding into the three camps in Maban county lost contact with their family members in the chaos of fleeing their homes. Since July, the ICRC has helped approximately 250 people get back in touch with their loved ones by giving them the opportunity to make phone calls or send written messages.

In addition, in August the ICRC reunited three Ugandan women with their families in Uganda. The women, who found freedom after having been abducted by an armed group, were repatriated from Yambio in the south-western region of South Sudan.

Aid to remote areas

A 6six-week campaign is under way in Twic county, Warrab state, to vaccinate an estimated 100,000 animals against major disease. The campaign, conducted jointly with the Ministry of Animal Resources and Fisheries, mainly benefits cattle farmers and pastoralists herders who rely on their animals as a source of income. Twic county is on the transhumance route for several cattle cattle -raising tribes.

Nearly 8,000 villagers from the Shilluk Kingdom, located in Upper Nile state, have been registered to receive essential items for the household such as mosquito nets and tarpaulins, after clashes in April 2012 drove them from their homes. The villagers are now starting to return, to find many of their houses were destroyed and much property looted.

Supporting health- care

The ICRC medical team based in the Malakal Teaching Hospital provides paediatric and physiotherapy services along with trauma and emergency surgical care. This includes war surgery performed in the hospital or at the scene of the fighting. Since the start of July, the team performed over 80 surgical operations while 400 patients received physiotherapy sessions.

The ICRC's operations in southern Sudan began in 1986. The organization set up a delegation in South Sudan's capital city, Juba, when the country became independent on 9 9 July 2011. The ICRC also has two sub-delegations in the new country, in Malakal and Wau. In South Sudan, the ICRC works to prevent violations of international humanitarian law and supports hospital and physical rehabilitation services. It also helps conflict-affected communities to survive and become self-sufficient.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Japan: Independent Experts Slam Japan’s New Whaling Plan

Independent experts slam Japan’s new whaling plan and declare no more whales need to be killed for Antarctic research More>>

Gaza Strip: Gaza Strip: Attacks In The Border Areas

Following disengagement from the Gaza Strip in September 2005, Israel unilaterally and illegally established a so-called “buffer zone”, an area prohibited to Palestinians along the land and sea borders of the Gaza Strip. The precise area designated by ... More>>

Australian Government: Iraq Deployment: Joint Press Conference, Canberra

Back in March, the Government announced that we were preparing a force for a Building Partner Capacity training mission in Iraq. I can inform you that today the Cabinet has decided to deploy that force. The deployment will start tomorrow and we expect ... More>>

UNHRC: UN Committee Against Torture To Review New Zealand

UN Committee against torture to review New Zealand, Congo, Romania, Luxembourg, Spain, Serbia, Colombia, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia More>>

UNHRC: Nigeria: One Year On, Call To Bring Back Abducted Children

Nigeria: One year on, UN and African experts call for decisive steps to bring back abducted children More>>

EU & US Let Iran Win Top Seat On UN Women’s Rights Board

EU & US Allowed Iran to Win Top Seat on UN Women’s Rights Board, Rights Group Says More>>

Peaceful Tree Planting Attacked By Zionist Settlers/soldiers

Peaceful tree planting attacked by zionist settlers and soldiers, two Palestinians hospitalised and a German activist arrested. More>>

One Year On: WWF Fails To Act Against Abuse Of ‘Pygmies'

Baka 'Pygmies' have faced harassment, beatings and torture by anti-poaching squads supported and funded by WWF. Conservation giant World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) has failed to take action against the abuse of Baka “Pygmies” and their neighbors ... More>>

Cyclone Pam Evacuation Centers Home To New-Born

UNFPA Pacific, Port Vila, Vanuatu (March 25, 2015) - As her family settled into one of the classrooms at Freswota Primary School in Cyclone Pam-stricken Port Vila, in the Pacific island nation of Vanuatu, Meri Yalu was more troubled by an impending ... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news