Saturday, March 15, 2014

Early heavy rains pummel South Sudanese

Joe DeCapua in Voice of America: The International Rescue Committee says early rains in South Sudan have created catastrophic conditions for thousands of displaced people. The humanitarian agency says it’s a race against time to provide shelter, sanitation and clean water.

Heavy rain and powerful winds struck Juba last Friday night. The storm lasted just an hour, but when the skies cleared the damage was severe. IRC South Sudan Country Director Wendy Taeuber surveyed the U.N. Tomping Displacement Camp -- once filled with shelters made of plastic sheeting and bamboo sticks.

She said, “646 were destroyed in just one hour of that intense rain with the severe winds. The base holds 23,000 people. But if one hour of rain can do that kind of damage, it’s a matter of time before hundreds more are losing their shelters.”

About 8,000 people are living in flood conditions at the Tomping site. The IRC and other groups are encouraging the displaced to move to sites on higher ground. But Taeuber said many are reluctant to move....

Locator map of South Sudan created by Spesh531. and others, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

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