Water in Africa: The View From the Ground

Climate Change and Disaster Preparedness are big words around this region these days.  Disaster preparedness refers to unpredictable events like drought and floods.

I experienced it during the dry season last winter when the schools in Northern Bahr el Ghazal closed down so families could migrate to swamps in search of water.    But this time I saw the opposite side of the disaster.  Annually, 100,000 households in the state of Northern Bahr el Ghazal are affected by seasonal flooding.   Crops are destroyed, causing a further strain on the increasing population, with so many coming back from the north.

When I arrived this time, Aweil was in a state of emergency from intense flooding. Violent storms came every other night and the communities were completely vulnerable in their flimsy, exposed houses.   Seventy-eight percent of the population lives in small huts that collapse under the pressure.

Our team had been sending regular updates about the emergency and when I arrived many people had begun relocating onto the roadside, away from the rising waters.

The resiliency of these…

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