JUBA – The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) has warned of possible outbreak of water-borne diseases in newly designated displacement camps, and protection of civilian sites in South Sudan.
In a press statement extended to Sudans Post, Dr Mohamed Ayoya, UNICEF Representative in South Sudan, said that poor access to clean water, and proper hygiene in the country is putting children’s health at risk, noting that it is contributing to one of the highest child mortality rates in the world.
“Evidence has shown that lack of access to clean water increases risks of diarrhea diseases, and contributes to acute malnutrition among children, which is already high in South Sudan,” Dr. Mohammed said.
UNICEF Representative rose concerned about the situation in the newly designated displacement camps, and the protection of civilian sites, which he believed are hotspots for disease outbreaks.
“Due to under funding, UNICEF has been using limited critical regular resources to sustain our operations to ensure communities have access to water, and sanitation services in newly designated displacement camps, and protection for civilian sites,” said Dr Ayoya.
Dr Ayoya urgently appeals for external funding for donors to maintain WASH services in the camps.
UNICEF reported that more than five million people – approximately 40 per cent of the population, do not have access to clean and safe water in South Sudan; 61 per cent of the population does not have access to latrines.
It said that conflicts and floods have worsened an already serious situation.