Floods displace 34,000 in Pibor
Friday, 07 September 2012
BOR- Over 34,000 people have been displaced by floods caused by heavy rainfall in Pibor county of Jonglei state, authorities have reported.
‘The floods have destroyed 2,600 farms (about 6,800 acres) and displaced about 34,000 people,” the county director of agriculture, John Amore, told The New Nation last week.
Amore named the most affected payams as Gogolthin, Fertet, Lekuangole and parts of Gumuruk. He appealed to the state authorities and the Government to support the displaced people.
The floods are a big blow to the mainly Murle residents of Pibor, who had hitherto been cattle keepers.
The farmers only recently turned to crop growing as a source of living after they lost their cattle during the Lou-Nuer attacks earlier this year.
“I don’t have any hope since my crops are destroyed by water,” said Stephen Nyonyo, a farmer from Manyirang farmers group, while lokking at the young maize plants submerged in water.
“I had expected a good harvest this year, but now my farms will yield no fruits despite the hardship I faced during the planting and weeding,” he added.
Pibor commissioner Joshua Konyi said the floods are increasing and people are now using boats to cross to the market from the other part of town.
In response to the situation, Jonglei state director of the Red Cross, David Gai, said they are assessing the humanitarian situation.
In Twic East county, on the other side of Jonglei, about 20,000 acres of fields have been destroyed by heavy rainfall, commissioner Dau Akoi said.
While farmers in the area had put in commendable efforts to improve food security by cultivating large farms, persistent rains are now washing away the crops before they could be harvested, he noted.
"The current rainfall of August is really affecting our crops in Twic East. Our farmers have cultivated a lot of fedans but unfortunately, the recent rain is affecting the crops,” he said.
He named the most affected payams as Lith, Kongor and Nyuak. He expressed fear that the destruction of the crops will create food shortages in the county.
“Most of the villages have been affected. We have been talking to the NGOs to come and see how to support those affected," he said.