South Sudan — Flood Damage and Needs Assessment Study (2021)




DTM South Sudan,
South Sudan
Period Covered
Aug 31 2021
Oct 14 2021
  • Survey
  • Return Intention

1.    This report provides field-level data to complement and validate findings from the 2020 Flood Damage and Needs Assessment (FDNA) on the 2020 seasonal floods (June-December) in South Sudan which largely relied on the analysis of remote sensing and geodata. The World Bank tasked IOM to conduct field assessments in three payams (administrative level 3) to collect empirical data from flood-affected areas to verify and substantiate findings from the FDNA.
2.    The FDNA Field Validation combines four sources of primary data: two quantitative tools mapping the flood impact and exploring community responses of which one was conducted at the boma level (administrative level 4) and one at a more granular level (facility, livelihood area and settlement level), as well as two qualitative tools of which one is a set of Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) at the boma level and the other is a series of Key Informant Interviews (KIIs) with participants recruited from key stakeholder groups at the national level. IOM interviewed and consulted more than 1,131 individuals for the exercise across all tools.
3.    This report provides insights on multiple levels of granularity concerning the 2020 floods in terms of the extent and severity of impact on public infrastructure, shelter, displacement, livelihoods, Health, Water, Hygiene and Sanitation (WASH), and education.  

●        In terms of infrastructure, findings confirm and illustrate the floods’ debilitating impact on public buildings, roads and livelihood institutions. Some 21 per cent of 709 accessed facilities were found to be dysfunctional. Half of all remaining functional facilities were affected by the floods in 2020. Diminished road access was observed across sectors as communities were unable to access important locations such as healthcare, markets, and educational facilities. Access constraints not only limited movement out of flooded areas, but also prevented aid from reaching populations in need. Impacts on damaged facilities were not only severe (more than 50% reported medium to severe damage) but also protracted (more than 80% of damage facilities were still affected between one and six months later).
●        For a population largely dependent on the land, the floods made most forms of livelihood activities impossible. Farmers reported being unable to harvest anything in half of the accessed bomas where farming is practiced. Waterlogged fields meant that farming was rendered impossible long after the rains had stopped, and a lack of harvest made planting in the subsequent season impossible. The analysis also indicates that tensions arose between farmers and cattle keepers, and also among various cattle keeping groups, as a result of flooding on usable land. Communities reported losing a large number of cattle which often drowned or succumbed to diseases that spread after the floods subsided. 

●        The 2020 floods caused displacement within 11, from 9 and to 9 out of 16 assessed boma. Movements remained localized in most cases, with exceptions in Bor, where population movement was more common across county and state lines. Communities quickly switched from being hosts communities to being hosted by other communities as IDPs, while many struggled to support arriving IDPs because of the additional stress the floods had put on available resources. IOM found that recurrence of  flooding and longevity of stagnant water has changed the patterns and temporality of displacement, which after the 2020 flood was often long-term with periods of displacement lasting up to the time of assessment (September 2021) in half of the assessed boma.
●        Shelter damage was severe and widespread in all assessed boma. On a settlement level, the FIFIS tool revealed that, with few exceptions, the floods damaged shelters in almost all assessed areas (97% or 63 of 65 flooded settlements). Floods moreover hindered access to common shelter building materials, preventing the rehabilitation of homes. In the majority of settlements, shelters had not been repaired in any way and remained largely inhabitable (56% or 35/63).
●        Respondents reported an increase in disease outbreaks, notably malaria upsurges, and a simultaneous decrease in access to healthcare.

   Access to education was similarly stressed, most commonly due impassible roads but also damaged educational facilities.

4. This report also explores community-based disaster risk management (CBDRM) in South Sudan, with a focus on identifying current capacities at the local level, and gaps that stakeholders can address through strategic support and programming. In line with South Sudan’s nascent National Disaster Risk Management Policy, and the recurrence of devastating floods and the heightened vulnerability of communities to climate-related shocks, , government, humanitarians and development partners are seeking to strengthen disaster preparedness and response across the country, including at the community level. The analysis shows a range of ad hoc CBDRM initiatives, primarily through the form of mobilization to build dykes using local materials, the establishment of disaster risk management committees, and mobilization to safe areas. Additionally, while women and youth often bear tremendous responsibility in flood-affected communities, including caring for vulnerable household members, as well as building and maintaining dykes, they continue to be marginalized in local decision-making. Local and indigenous knowledge is often used as one mechanism for communities to anticipate and prepare for floods, however this knowledge has not been integrated into early warning systems and formal coordination mechanisms developed by partners and government institutions. Key gaps were identified in terms of coordination amongst partners and government stakeholders, as CBDRM mechanisms continue to operate at an ad hoc level. Lastly, compounding factors have made it challenging for stakeholders to support CBDRM initiatives, particularly in relation to inter-communal violence and displacement.