Citizens to be evacuated from flooded areas

FILE PHOTO: Displaced people walk with their belongings in a flooded area after the Nile River overflowed after continuous heavy rain which caused thousands of people to be displaced in Bor, central South Sudan. (Photo by AKUOT CHOL/AFP via Getty Images)

By Tereza Jeremiah Chuei

The Minister of Environment and Forestry Josephine Napwon said citizens will be evacuated from their areas of origin to high lands due to the climatic changes that has cause devastating floods within the country.

This Minister’s announcement of the evacuation plan comes amid her continues firm position of, “the dredging of the Naam river will not take place”; saying that it shouldn’t be politics’ because it is purely research that will inform their decision.

Speaking during the World Environmental Day celebration in Juba Monday, Minister Napwon said the solution to floods is to relocate people to areas that are not affected by floods.

“Since these floods are going to be frequent, the only remedy is for our people in the affected areas to relocate from floodplains to higher grounds and areas,” she said.

She said the Ministry of Humanitarian affairs and disaster Management in collaboration with the international community are to provide the necessary assistance to the affected population such that they settle and rebuilt their livelihoods.

Napwon urged politicians not to issue any statement concerning the dredging, so that it wouldn’t create tension among the public.

“I urge all our political leaders not to issue statement that only raise temper and cause instability, while the floods have not only affected the livelihoods of our people it has also affected the oil fields thus contaminating water bodies and polluting the soil and grazing Lands,” she stated.

She however said her Ministry of Environment has developed mitigation and adaption strategies stressing that those plans do not include dredging nor the resumption of the Jonglei.

“I would like to shed light on the current issue regarding the dredging and the resumption of the Jonglei Canal Project, the genesis of the current development is flooding, the flooding is a result of climate change which the Ministry has developed mitigation and adaption strategies for and these strategies and plans do not include dredging nor the resumption of the Jonglei Canal Project,” Napwon underlined.

Napwon said clearly that the position of the Ministry of Environment is clear, no dredging will be permitted without the conduct of an environmental, social impact assessments and other hydrological studies review and approved by the ministry of environment.

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