Ayod Island residents call for emergency evacuation amid devastating flood
August 24, 2020(Nyamilepedia) — A group of islands in South Sudan’s Ayod county are experiencing one of the most devastating emergencies as flood worsens in the islands and lives are at stake.
Speaking to Long Dak Gatdien, a clinical officer in Menime island, he couldn’t stress how much these people need immediate emergency assistance from the NGOs and the government.
“The general situation of Island ( Wan Machar,Menime, Haat, Nyot, Pakur, Pakuem, Nyaguath, Ngaryang, Nyakang and Rup-chieng-khor) has reached to the catastrophic points where people are losing hopes” Gatdien said.
Led by the local Chief John Gatluak Teny and payam administrator James Majang Biel, the residents have tried to build dykes since August 17 but more heavy rains that continued between August 22 and August 24th have paralyzed hopes in these Islands, Lony said:
“Many places are under water and 513 houses have been destroyed. Even to find a place to put a child to sleep is difficult” Said Long Dak Gatdien.
“The community members had tried very hard to elevated the ground by putting the Dyke ( keek), but they couldn’t manage it since the water is coming over the dyke through different directions across the villages.” Dak continued
Gatdien stressed that the islands are getting submerged as tropical rains become more rampant on the already devastated islands and the water level is rising.
“As community members, we call upon all lives saving Agencies to prepare an urgent emergency response team to rescue the most suffering vulnerable people whose lives are endangered” Gatdien said.
Although focusing on saving lives of people, Gatdien added that the livestock across the Islands “are dying on the daily bases due to the fact that the whole villages are engulfed by water and there is no proper grazing sites for the livestock”.
Lony, who is employed by a national NGO, the Christian Mission for Development (CMD), said his clinic is flooded and attempts to build dykes to keep it dry for his patients are failing.
He fears that cases of severe malaria, pneumonia, eye infections and even snake bites have increased.
“CMD health team who are on the ground are trying their level best by organising the mobile clinics to reach the people who are stuck around Menime since there is an ongoing of severe malaria, pneumonia, eye infections and skins infections cases that we recorded so far from the beginning of the disaster.” Lony Dak Gatdien continued.
“Beside the frequent sickness, snake bites has become rampants since different type of snakes are many on the high grounds where people are relocated to and henceforth, we recorded about 9 cases of snake bites.” He said.
Gatdien was speaking for more than ten islands in the middle of the River Nile within Ayod county.
The major islands, which are administratively categorized as Payams or Bumas, include Wan, Menime, Haat, Nyot, Pakur, Pakuem, Nyaguath, Ngaryang, Nyakang and Rup-chieng-khor among others.
Before the flood, these islands were estimated to have a total population of about 64, 000 but due to the current situation many residents are trying to evacuate their livestock to Pangak and Ayod mainlands.