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Disasters, Conflicts and Migration

Natural Disasters

Type

Yes / No

Comments / Details

Drought

Yes

While accessibility throughout the country is marginally improved during the dry season, conflict over scarce resources in areas affected by drought can lead to insecurity and inter-communal conflict. Compounding this is the road and river infrastructure which is poorly maintained and without any long term maintenance program is deteriorating year by year. Eastern Equatoria and parts of Jonglei are frequently affected by drought. The majority of conflict incidents occur during the dry season with Jonglei, Unity, Lakes, Upper Nile and Warrap states recording the largest number of incidents.

Earthquakes

No

Earthquakes rarely occur in South Sudan.

Epidemics

No

Poor sanitation and water contamination have led to outbreaks of cholera. For information on other major infectious diseases, please see the following link: Index Mundi South Sudan Major Infectious Diseases.

Extreme Temperatures

No

South Sudan can be hot, but extreme temperatures are rare, the average annual temperature is about 29° C with an average annual high of 34° C.

Flooding

Yes

For information on flooding in South Sudan, please see the following link: FloodList South Sudan

Insect Infestation

No

Locusts, termites, stem-borer and Dura-bugs can have an effect on crop production; however, the prevalence of such pests has been low.

Mudslides

No

South Sudan has mainly flat terrain, characterized by rocky outcrops. Landslides are rare.

Volcanic Eruptions

No

South Sudan has no active volcanoes.

High Waves / Surges

No

South Sudan is completely land locked and there are no large bodies of water where high waves or sudden water surges could be a problem.

Wildfires

No

Large areas of grassy plains, savannah and lowland forests characterize South Sudan.  Wild fires often occur as a result of agricultural burning, and are common in areas experiencing consistent drought.

High Winds

No

High winds can occur and have damaged warehouse facilities in the past; however, they are not considered a constant hazard.

Man-Made Issues

 

Civil Strife

Yes

South Sudan has experienced two civil wars between 1955 – 1972 and 1983 – 2005. Conflict resumed from December 2013.

International Conflict

Yes

Border tensions between Sudan and South Sudan remain.

Internally Displaced Persons

Yes

For information on IDPs in South Sudan, please see the following link: UNHCR South Sudan

Refugees Present

Yes

For information on refugees in South Sudan, please see the following link: UNHCR South Sudan 

Landmines / UXO Present

Yes

Parts of the country are still affected by landmines and UXO’s. Jonglei and Western, Central and Eastern Equatoria states have the highest number of known hazards. A small number of roads in Western and Northern Bahr El Ghazal, Unity, Jonglei and Lakes states are still minded (UNMAS 2013). For more information see the following link: UN Mine Action South Sudan

For more detailed database on disasters by country, please see the Centre for Research on Epidemiology of Disasters Country Profile Database.

Calamities and Seasonal Affects

Seasonal Affects on Transport

Type

From (month) to (month)

Comments

Primary Road Transport

Rainy season: May to October

Dry season: January to May

The total estimated track length in South Sudan is approximately 90,200 km. This is includes approximately 14,000 km of primary and secondary roads, and 6,000 km of tertiary tracks. Approximately 5,000 km of roads remain passable during the rainy season.

Road transport is severely affected during the rainy season, with some parts being completely inaccessible for months.  Pre-positioning of supplies by road largely takes place during the dry season.

Secondary Road Transport

Rainy season: May to October

Dry season: January to May

The secondary road network is severely affected during the rainy season roads. The vast majority of primary and secondary roads receive little to no maintenance and during the wet season, vehicle traffic quickly destroys submerged and waterlogged roads.

Rail Transport

 

South Sudan has one rail connection; connecting Babanusa (Sudan) with Wau (444 km). This line consists of 248 km of narrow gauge, single-track rail within South Sudan. Rail transport is currently not operational.

Air Transport

Rainy season: May to October

Air transport in South Sudan is weather dependent. Helicopter and small aircraft operations are grounded in bad weather. Landing strips are mostly gravel, making large numbers of airstrips unusable by fixed wing planes during the rainy season necessitating the need to revert to helicopters. At smaller airstrips, the proximity of local villages and lack of security makes incursions of people and animals onto airstrips a hazard to aircraft and crew.

Waterway Transport

All year on the River Nile.

South Sudan controls the upper reaches of the Nile, which gives the country 1,400 km of navigable inland waterways. These main waterways remain navigable throughout the year. However, the barges and pushers have had little investment over the past years and are constantly breaking down, making the barge operations largely unreliable.

South Sudan has an equatorial climate with high humidity and lots of rainfall. The temperature varies between an average low of 21° C and an average high of 34° C. The country experiences only two seasons. The rainy season varies between May and October, and the dry season varies between January and May. On average, the hottest month is March and the coolest month is July with the driest average month being January and the wettest month being August.

During the rainy season, road transport is severely affected as roads become flooded and waterlogged with large parts of the country becoming inaccessible. The planting and harvest season coincides with the start of the rainy season and the beginning of the dry season. In general, agricultural production during this period does not impact on the availability of trucks; however in smaller locations where there is a general lack in services and service providers, seasonal agricultural practices can affect availability. Pre-positioning of supplies and cargo mainly takes place during the dry season.

 

Seasonal Affects on Storage and Handling (economic, social, climate…)

Activity

From <month> to <month>

Comments

Storage

Rainy season: May to October

Dry season: January to May

Seasonal flooding and insecurity remain the biggest factors affecting storage facilities. Storage facilities in certain areas are at high risk of flooding or of being cut-off as a result of roads being inaccessible. Storage facilities are at risk of being abandoned and/or looted due to insecurity in some areas, especially in those areas experiencing conflict.

Handling

June to February

January to August

Agricultural practices (food production and livestock) are the main livelihood activities and sources of income for the majority of households in non-urban areas. Seasonal planting, harvesting and migratory patterns can result in a reduction of available labour. 

Insecurity as a result of historical inter-tribal conflict, armed insurgencies and cattle raiding in areas such as Jonglei and Unity states can result in the large displacement of people and the unavailability of permanent labour.

Other

Rainy season: May to October

In some instances, transporters may refuse to go into areas affected by conflict. During the rainy season, road transporters may refuse to go into certain areas due to an increased risk of accidents or of getting stuck. Local transporters operate largely without support and trucks can get stuck for weeks in areas affected by heavy rains. 


Physical access constraints as a result of perennial flooding, poor road conditions and insecurity remain the biggest factors influencing logistics operations in South Sudan. During the rainy season nearly 60% of the road network becomes inaccessible. Nearly 50% of all counties in 2012 experienced flooding, making the movement of heavy vehicles extremely difficult. Historically, during the dry season there is an increase in inter-communal violence and a decrease in the general security situation in certain parts, such as Jonglei. As a result, pre-positioning of stock must be a top priority for any organization during the dry season when the roads remain dry, river levels stable and counties unaffected by perennial flooding. 

Capacity and Contacts for In-Country Emergency Response

Government

The Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management has the mandate to oversee all humanitarian work in South Sudan. In general, the use of military/defense assets in relief operations occurs rarely and in most occurrences such assets are utilised on a one time only basis and usually without humanitarian involvement. Close cooperation with military establishments largely involves the facilitation of access to affected areas in restricted areas.

For more information, please see the following links:

4.1 South Sudan Government Contact List

Government of the Republic of South Sudan

Humanitarian Community

For contact information for the humanitarian community in South Sudan, please see the following link: 4.2 South Sudan Humanitarian Agency Contact List