Displaced civilians at risk of disease in South Sudan camps
Wednesday, March 19, 2014 - 01:27
March 19 - Heavy rain and flooding continues to take a toll on displaced people in South Sudan, as aid agencies scramble to prevent disease outbreaks. Jennifer Davis reports.
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People fleeing the conflict in South Sudan have found refuge in camps, but now they're facing a new threat as the rainy season sets in.
Standing flood waters are a perfect breeding ground for malaria-carrying mosquitoes - and rain, and a lack of proper sanitation increases the risk of diarrhea and other diseases like cholera and malaria. It makes already challenging living conditions even more difficult for children who have had to flee their homes. Many have little access to food, shelter and clean water - and are already malnourished.
(SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) UNIDENTIFIED DISPLACED CIVILIAN, SAYING:
''Even if we put the children in tents, the water still enters. There is no solution. The situation here is as you can see, more than this...bad things happen here, the children are sick. But God is generous.''
According to United Nations reports, about one million people have been displaced by violence within South Sudan since the start of a political crisis last year. Many remain reluctant to return home, and others say they have lost everything.
(SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) ALISA JOSEPH, DISPLACED CIVILIAN, SAYING:
''I was living in Kor William, and our house was looted by the SPLA soldiers, and now they live in our house. They took the furniture. They stole everything. They didn't leave anything for us. Not even clothes.''
The rainy season usually starts in April, and the UN says about 60 percent of roads will be impassable until October.
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