National, News

South Sudan braces for floods as Lake Victoria reaches record levels

By Kei Emmanuel Duku


Residents living near the Nile River in South Sudan face potential dangers from severe looming flood, the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation warned, urging early precautions to be taken.

This comes as Uganda prepares to release excess water from Lake Victoria, which has reached its highest level in recorded history.

The water level in Lake Victoria is expected to hit a record-breaking 13.60 meters.

Engineer Charles Kaboji, Director of Hydrology at the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation, said Uganda will release between 2,400 and 2,600 cubic meters of water per second, which will potentially cause flooding in South Sudan.

This release is anticipated to displace communities, damage essential services, and trigger outbreaks of waterborne diseases in Nimule, Juba’s Nile shores, Mangalla (Central Equatoria State), and downstream states including Jonglei, Unity, Lakes, and Upper Nile.

Kaboji attributed the rising water volume to heavy rainfall across the Great Lakes region, where numerous lakes and rivers that feed Lake Victoria.

“The Ugandan government has increased the planned water release from Lake Victoria to 2,600 cubic meters per second. This additional 200 cubic meters will flow directly into the Nile River, passing through Juba downstream,” he explained.

The release is expected to begin in the next 3 months, with the impact being felt between October and December.

Alison Samuel Taligi, director of the Juba City Council, expressed concern for the residents and hotel owners along the Nile.

He pointed out that the allocation of wetlands for settlements by local authorities has worsened the potential dangers.

“The law mandates a 50-meter buffer zone between settlements and rivers. However, people are building right next to the Nile, which is against local government regulations. These individuals will be severely affected by the floods,” said Samuel.

Joseph Africano Bartel, Under Secretary of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry placed the blame on Western nations for the current climate situation.

He stated that South Sudan requires $100 billion by 2050 to mitigate the effects of climate change and resettle flood-affected communities.

Bartel urged Western countries to fulfil their financial commitments under the Paris Agreement for climate change mitigation, adaptation, and financing projects.

“South Sudan contributes minimally to global emissions, yet we are severely impacted. We are committed to combating climate change through our national policies and programs. These aim to reduce the number of people displaced by floods and other disasters,” said Africano.

Estimates suggest that over 8 million people could be affected by the upcoming floods.






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