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

 

Demonetisation: Gordon Campbell On India’s Huge Socio-Economic Experiment

Without much coverage at all in the West, India has just been engaged for the past few weeks in one of the world’s biggest socio-economic experiments since the Cultural Revolution in China. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Death Of Fidel Castro

New Zealand likes to think we played our part – via the 1981 Springbok tour – in bringing the apartheid regime in South Africa to an end… Jacob Zuma treated the death of Fidel Castro at the weekend as an occasion to pay a heartfelt tribute to the thousands of Cuban soldiers who travelled across the world to inflict the first significant military defeat on the forces of white supremacy. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The US Election Home Stretch

Once again at the business end of a US election, the result will hinge on the same old bits of geography as always: the Five Crucial Counties in Ohio, the Two Crucial Counties in Pennsylvania and the I-4 Interstate Corridor in Florida that runs from Tampa Bay through Orlando to Daytona Beach. More>>

ALSO:

Meanwhile:

Haiti: $5 Million To Kick-Start Aid In Wake Of Hurricane Matthew

UN emergency fund allocates $5 million to kick-start assistance in wake of Hurricane Matthew More>>

ALSO:

Preliminary Results: MH17 Investigation Report

The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) is convinced of having obtained irrefutable evidence to establish that on 17 July 2014, flight MH-17 was shot down by a BUK missile from the 9M38-series. According to the JIT there is also evidence identifying the launch location that involves an agricultural field near Pervomaiskyi which, at the time, was controlled by pro-Russian fighters. More>>

ALSO:

Not Helen Clark: António Guterres Favourite For Next UN Secretary-General

Former Portuguese Prime Minister António Guterres has emerged as the clear favourite to become the next United Nations Secretary-General following the sixth secret ballot held today by the UN Security Council, which is expected to take a formal decision tomorrow and forward Mr. Guterres’ name to the 193-Member General Assembly for final confirmation. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>

ALSO:

Other Australian Detention

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news