South Sudan gets funds to fight water related climate issues

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South Sudan

South Sudan on Monday secured 215 million U.S. dollars from the World Bank under a program aimed at improving management of water-related climate impacts in eastern and southern Africa.

The Regional Climate Resilience Program for Eastern and Southern Africa Project aims to prepare the ground for investments in long-term flood and drought protection measures.

James Wani Igga, South Sudan’s vice president for economic cluster, said the regional project will contribute to the development of water sector policies and institutional frameworks in South Sudan, enabling the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation to carry out its overall responsibility for water policy and management in the country.

“Despite the water sector’s current challenges, including a scarcity of human and financial resources, overlapping institutional responsibilities and fragile management systems, I am optimistic about the kind of positive impact this project will have on our water sector and our ability to navigate future climate shocks,” Igga said in Juba, the capital of South Sudan, during the launch of the project.

The project prioritizes interventions aimed at strengthening climate-resilient water resource management planning, early warning systems, monitoring and forecasting capabilities, and flood risk mapping. It also includes the construction and rehabilitation of flood protection infrastructure and supports livelihood activities in flood-prone areas.

Pal Mai Deng, minister of water resources and irrigation, said the project will enhance the capacity of the ministry to develop flood forecasting and early warning systems to provide accurate and timely information to the population and will aid the regional efforts to improve basin-wide forecasting.

“We have only eight operational hydrometric monitoring stations in the entire country, of which five have both manual and automatic data transmission mechanisms, two have only automatic data transmission mechanisms and one has only manual. However, there is no systematic data management tool to store and process the data. So long-term flood management in the country is limited by the lack of strategic flood hydrology models,” he said.

Firas Raad, World Bank country manager for South Sudan, said the project’s objectives contribute to the World Bank’s vision of ending extreme poverty on a livable planet and is well aligned with the principles of Green, Resilient, and Inclusive Development and the Climate Change Action Plan for the 2021-2025 period.

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