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Pakistani peacekeepers serving with UNMISS build earthen dikes to prevent flooding in Bentiu

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Pakistani peacekeepers serving with UNMISS build earthen dikes to prevent flooding in Bentiu

Without the timely intervention of UNMISS, we would have faced a crisis like no other

JUBA, South Sudan, October 12, 2021 / APO Group / –

Flooding caused by heavy rains in Unity State has caused great suffering to local communities here.

Recently, the state capital, Bentiu, was nearly submerged by another flood when the interim state governor, Joseph Montyuil, requested urgent assistance from the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS). .

Pakistani engineers deployed here reacted quickly, moving heavy equipment to the most endangered sites and quickly began building dikes to divert the city’s water flow.

“As soon as we received information from the field office that the communities needed our urgent intervention, we took action,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Hameed Akbar, commander of the Pakistani Military Engineering Task Force. “Time was running out, so we quickly moved essential equipment from other projects to work in Bentiu,” he continues.

Despite the swampy soils and snake infested waters, Pakistani peacekeepers completed more than 4 kilometers of dikes in record time.

“The rapid assistance provided by the UNMISS peacekeepers really spared us from disaster,” said Franco Duoth, chairman of the Disaster Management Committee. “The volume of water approaching Bentiu was enormous and was not controlled, the city and its surroundings would have been completely submerged, causing unspeakable misery and displacement”, he affirms.

Acting Governor Montyuil agrees. “Without the timely intervention of UNMISS, we would have faced a crisis like no other. The swift action of Pakistani engineers, including pumping water from homes and buildings that were already flooded, saved the communities of Bentiu from great despair, ”said the acting governor.

“The currents were extremely strong and it was difficult for our engineers to complete these dikes, although we are trained for such emergencies,” said Captain Yawar Abbas, project manager. “However, we are happy to have been able to help end what could have been a major humanitarian and protection emergency here.”

“This is exactly why we are deploying in United Nations peacekeeping operations, to help those who need us most. We feel honored to have been helpful and to have contributed to the mandate of UNMISS, ”added Commander Akbar.

Although the imminent threat to Bentiu has been mitigated, the overall flood dangers remain.

“The volume of water in Unity State is so high that it may take years to completely recede,” Duoth warns. “Water levels continue to rise and we need the support of the national government to alleviate this crisis,” he adds.

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