Pibor, South Sudan
The flooding in Pibor, South Sudan is only the latest in a string of crises to hit the region. Following massive flooding in Pibor in 2019—during which the MSF clinic was flooded—ongoing conflict in the region has caused large-scale displacement, loss of life, and a significant lack of resources. The current flooding, occurring during the COVID-19 pandemic, has made the need for medical care in the region even greater.
“This has been a hard 12 months for this community,” says Josh Rosenstein, MSF’s Deputy Head of Mission. “Once again our latest emergency response to conflict-related displacement is transforming into a flood response.
“This emergency is having a compounded effect on the local community. The worst of the flooding is yet to happen, and the community is already feeling the strains of food insecurity. Lack of access to healthcare will only get worse over the coming weeks and months, and conditions will only grow more precarious for people.”
MSF has opened a clinic in the only location in town that was not under water during the floods in 2019, in the hopes that this clinic can remain open throughout the flooding. A mobile MSF team has been delivering medical care to prevent and treat the most serious health conditions in hard-to-reach areas.
With many areas underwater across the region, those without a mobile clinic attempting to access care face a perilous journey. When 13-year-old Yoel fell ill, his father, a widower and father of five, carried him through chest-high waters for two hours to reach the MSF clinic.
"There are no roads to the hospital,” Yoel’s father said. “Only water.”