SOUTH SUDAN / BENTIU FLOODS

22-Nov-2021 00:04:22
The current flooding across South Sudan’s Unity State has had a devastating impact on people’s lives. Homes have been destroyed, crop cycles and harvests ruined, and displaced civilians are desperately seeking higher ground to shelter in. It is an emergency like no other that people living here have witnessed. UNMISS
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STORY: SOUTH SUDAN / BENTIU FLOODS
TRT: 4:22
SOURCE: UNMISS
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NUER / NATS

DATELINE: 16 NOVEMBER 2021, BENTIU, SOUTH SUDAN
SHOTLIST
16 NOVEMBER 2021, BENTIU, SOUTH SUDAN

1. Aerial shot, Bentiu flood
2. Various shots, Tuku under water
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Hiroko Hirahara, Head of Bentiu Field Office, United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS):
“Basically, water is coming from everywhere, and the source of water may not be the same. And it’s not coming from the rain because the last one month or so we have not had any major rain. So, it’s actually coming from the river. So, it’s very difficult to predict. Sometimes you see the water is flowing fast and sometimes you just see the water stagnant.”
4. Aerial shot, flood near airstrip
5. Driving shot, Tukul under water
6. Med shots, people in boats
7. SOUNDBITE (Nuer) Nyarup Gat Jaka, flood victim:
“We are facing devastating floods. Everybody is worried about it. We don’t know how it will [improve] because we are not even safe. We could be in a dry place today and tomorrow we will be [submerged] in water. As women, it’s very difficult for us; we have no access to firewood or charcoal, we have no access to anything. We are depending on humanitarian aid.”
8. Various shots, excavators
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Lieutenant Colonel Hameed Akbar, Commanding Officer, Pakistani Military Engineers, United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS):
“The airstrip is like the lifeline of Bentiu town. It’s the lifeline of the entire UNMISS base, the humanitarian actors as well as the local community. So, if you just look on my right, you’ll see a lot of flooding. This is the second line of the dyke on which we are standing. And we’re using all our machinery non-stop. It’s the 55th day we are using our manpower and equipment to deal with the situation.”
10. Aerial shot, floods
11. Wide shot, peacekeeper standing with excavator working in background
12. SOUNDBITE (English) Hiroko Hirahara, Head of Bentiu Field Office, United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS):
“So, they’re doing a lot of work. This is truly consolidated work that they are doing, basically tapping into their different expertise.”
13. Various shots, displaced people
14. SOUNDBITE (English) Noel Pakiohewa Ngaha, Field Administrative Officer, United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS):
“In cooperation with our Country Team members and the Governor, UNMISS and our partners have been working hard to maintain continuity of our roadways for the community but also keeping the waters away from new areas where communities have to move to and settle.”
15. Various shots, waste dumping site
16. SOUNDBITE (English) Mwesigye Isaac Baryahabwa, Field Engineering Officer, United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS):
“What we’ve done is that on each side we have put dykes to prevent water going into the road. The main purpose of working in this particular portion is that the access to the dumping site where we dump solid waste and where we put sewage is opened up so that we can get the sewage and the solid waste from UNMISS camp, the humanitarians and also from the IDPs.”
17. Various shots, displaced people
18. SOUNDBITE (English) Hiroko Hirahara, Head of Bentiu Field Office, United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS):
“What I can proudly tell you is that everybody came together. I mean this is the beauty of the people in Bentiu that once we may be arguing here, there everywhere - but once the situation hits, everybody comes together. So, I was very grateful that all these efforts we can consolidate, and we are working in solidarity. I think we are making progress.”
19. Various shots, excavators
STORYLINE
The current flooding across South Sudan’s Unity State has had a devastating impact on people’s lives. Homes have been destroyed, crop cycles and harvests ruined, and displaced civilians are desperately seeking higher ground to shelter in. It is an emergency like no other that people living here have witnessed.

SOUNDBITE (English) Hiroko Hirahara, Head of Bentiu Field Office, United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS):
“Basically, water is coming from everywhere, and the source of water may not be the same. And it’s not coming from the rain because the last one month or so we have not had any major rain. So, it’s actually coming from the river. So, it’s very difficult to predict. Sometimes you see the water is flowing fast and sometimes you just see the water stagnant.”

The devastating floods began two months ago, sweeping away homes, Belongings and people, leaving nothing but destruction in its wake.

SOUNDBITE (Nuer) Nyarup Gat Jaka, flood victim:
“We are facing devastating floods. Everybody is worried about it. We don’t know how it will [improve] because we are not even safe. We could be in a dry place today and tomorrow we will be [submerged] in water. As women, it’s very difficult for us; we have no access to firewood or charcoal, we have no access to anything. We are depending on humanitarian aid.”

Hope isn’t lost though, and this extraordinary crisis has given rise to extraordinary solidarity, as the UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), humanitarian partners and state authorities jointly mounted an emergency response.

SOUNDBITE (English) Lieutenant Colonel Hameed Akbar, Commanding Officer, Pakistani Military Engineers, United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS):
“The airstrip is like the lifeline of Bentiu town. It’s the lifeline of the entire UNMISS base, the humanitarian actors as well as the local community. So, if you just look on my right, you’ll see a lot of flooding. This is the second line of the dyke on which we are standing. And we’re using all our machinery non-stop. It’s the 55th day we are using our manpower and equipment to deal with the situation.”

Pakistani peacekeepers are being supported by their counterparts from Ghana and Mongolia, who are patrolling all through the night, monitoring any seepage and blocking these with sandbags that they have made themselves.

SOUNDBITE (English) Hiroko Hirahara, Head of Bentiu Field Office, United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS):
“So, they’re doing a lot of work. This is truly consolidated work that they are doing, basically tapping into their different expertise.”

Road access is also critical as is keeping the nearly 100,000 displaced people living adjacent to the UNMISS base here in Bentiu, safe and protected.

SOUNDBITE (English) Noel Pakiohewa Ngaha, Field Administrative Officer, United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS):
“In cooperation with our Country Team members and the Governor, UNMISS and our partners have been working hard to maintain continuity of our roadways for the community but also keeping the waters away from new areas where communities have to move to and settle.”

Amidst the crisis, health and hygiene concerns are also rising.

SOUNDBITE (English) Mwesigye Isaac Baryahabwa, Field Engineering Officer, United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS):
“What we’ve done is that on each side we have put dykes to prevent water going into the road. The main purpose of working in this particular portion is that the access to the dumping site where we dump solid waste and where we put sewage is opened up so that we can get the sewage and the solid waste from UNMISS camp, the humanitarians and also from the IDPs.”

Despite all hardships, lives must be saved, livelihoods sustained, and health and environmental hazards mitigated.

This stellar effort by all partners remains a beacon of hope.

SOUNDBITE (English) Hiroko Hirahara, Head of Bentiu Field Office, United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS):
“What I can proudly tell you is that everybody came together. I mean this is the beauty of the people in Bentiu that once we may be arguing here, there everywhere - but once the situation hits, everybody comes together. So, I was very grateful that all these efforts we can consolidate, and we are working in solidarity. I think we are making progress.”
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