National, News

Minister calls for urgent flood response plan

By Kei Emmanuel Duku


Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources, Pal Mai Deng, is urging the government and its partners to immediately activate the National Flood Preparedness and Response Plan for June to December 2024.

This proactive call comes in response to rising water levels in the Nile River and forecasts of above-average rainfall across the country.

Minister Mai stated that the current water level at the Nile in Nimule is 13.25 meters, which is an increase of 0.25 meters since June.

“While this is below the record high of 13.55 meters set in September 2021, it still indicates a significant rise.”

Water levels are also concerning in Juba, where the Nile currently sits at 12.35 meters, just short of the flood mark of 13.0 meters. Additionally, the River Sobat has seen a rise of 1.5 meters and continues to climb daily.

Minister Mai attributes the rising water levels to increased rainfall within the Nile Basin regions earlier this year and sustained water releases from the Jinja Dam in Uganda.

“This is likely to cause a surge in water levels downstream, potentially leading to floods in July,” he warned.

“The devastating floods of 2021 displaced thousands and caused widespread destruction. We must act now to minimize the impact this year.”

The South Sudan Meteorological Service further predicted an above-normal rainfall throughout the country from June to September.

Mai pointed to the Jebel Auila Dam in neighbouring Sudan as another potential risk factor.

Due to ongoing conflict, the dam is currently releasing water at a constant rate, significantly below its anticipated maximum capacity.

“If the Jebel Auila Dam is not properly managed during the flooding period, it could lead to severe flooding in many areas of South Sudan,” he stressed.

The minister has called on Sudanese authorities to allow technical experts to operate the dam during the expected flood season.

The urgency of taking action is highlighted by the latest climate forecasts. In May, the IGAD Climate Prediction and Application Centre predicted above-normal rainfall in most of the Greater Horn of Africa, including South Sudan.

This forecast was also corroborated by a seasonal hydrological forecast for the Nile Basin, which was developed by the Nile Basin countries last month.

With the threat of flooding looming, the government is urging all stakeholders to work together to implement the National Flood Preparedness and Response Plan and mitigate the potential devastation of upcoming floods.


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