It’s also become almost impossible for most of the displaced people to find safe drinking water. “Our only source of water for drinking, cooking, and washing is the floodwater,” said Nyapal, a mother of four.
Before the flooding around Bentiu, sanitation facilities in the camp were already in a critical condition and rarely maintained. “For a while, flooding meant it was impossible to access the waste treatment ponds,” said Cawo Yassin Ali, water and sanitation team leader in MSF’s emergency team deployed for the flood response. “This led to an accumulation of sewage in the camp latrines, which then overflowed into the open sewer canals, where children frequently play.” To reduce the risk of disease outbreaks, MSF has set up a sewage treatment plant inside the camp to contain and treat waste.
With the water levels slowly starting to recede around Bentiu, it’s still not clear when Nyabeel, Nyapal, and thousands of other displaced people will be able to return home. “We don’t have anything here, we came empty-handed, the village is covered with water, and we don’t know when it will dry,” said Nyabeel.