By William Madouk Garang
A civil society activist, Samuel Garang Dut has criticized governor Tong Akeen’s visit to flood affected areas describing it as a ‘showoff’, and rather induce the State to provide relief and dig drainage systems to mitigate perennial flooding.
The outspoken activist was reacting to governor Akeen’s recent courtesy visitation to flood affected areas in Aweil East County of Northern Bhar el Ghazal State in a bid to assess most flood-hit areas.
According to him, remedy to recurring flood is to construct drainage systems to divert waters to swampy areas which will be of good use during the dry season especially for farming vegetables and animals.
In an inclusive interview with No.1 Citizen Newspaper, Dut said the situations in flood affected areas are not conducive and there is a fear that malaria cases might increase as well as cholera outbreak.
“It’s important to control flood than to go and walk on waters and then take pictures every year just to make people believe that he [Tong] is a good governor. We need a solution not taking photos in waters,” Dut said.
“The flood submerged shelters displaced people, animals and destroyed crops. There are fears and cases of malaria and cholera coming up,” he lamented.
He also argued that instead of governor Akeen taking photos in the flood water, he should commence on digging the drainage system to allow water to flow to swampy areas.
“The best thing to do to mitigate the recurrence of the flood in Aweil is to construct the drainage system and have water diverted and channeled to the swamp areas which can be used in the dry season,” he recommended.
He claimed that nothing will work because Akeen has been there for three years and the bag of cements and materials meant for building drainage system went missing under his leadership.
“I believe all these will never work; its three years now since Governor Akeen has been assessing floods affected areas. How can the State Minister of Roads & Bridges be directed? When the cements and hardware meant for drainage system went missing without justification,” he claimed.
Last Wednesday, governor Akeen of Northern Bahr el Ghazal State made an emergency flood assessment mission to flood affected areas in Aweil East County of Northern Bahr el Ghazal.
Governor Akeen appealed for swift humanitarian intervention and directed the acting State Minister of Road and Bridges to conduct quick assessment and repair disconnected roads.
He furthermore urged National Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management to intervene on the dire humanitarian situations in the State which destroyed farms and displaced people.
The just concluded flood assessment in Aweil revealed that about 500 households were affected and are in dire humanitarian situation.
Heavy floods have also cut off Majok Yith-Thiou and Warawar which hindered the movement of people and commodities between Aweil Town, Aweil East and Merem which link to neighboring Sudan.
According to UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), about 760,000 people have so far been displaced by floods across the Country since May 2021.
The aid agencies listed Upper Nile, Jonglei, Unity and Northern Bahr el Ghazal States as the places that have been hit the most.
In assessment carried out by UNOCHA, priority intervention measures are needed to cushion the victims range from food aids to emergency shelters and non-food need such as water, sanitation and hygiene services.