Camps housing families fleeing fighting in South Sudan could become ‘deathtraps’ of disease, warns children’s charity Plan International.
More than 1,000 cases of waterborne cholera have been confirmed in the capital Juba in less than a month, claiming 27 lives.
With suspected cases in Jonglei, Upper Nile and Lakes State, aid workers fear further outbreaks in makeshift camps as the rainy season arrives.
“Continued killings in the country will spark an increase in the number of displaced, separated and orphaned children,” says Plan’s country director in South Sudan, Gyan Adhikari.
“As the rains intensify, camps located in swampy and flood prone areas could turn into deathtraps with cholera or typhoid costing many lives.”
More than one million people have been driven from their homes by violence in South Sudan since mid-December.
Aid workers for Plan have reached nearly 175,000 with life-saving aid including food, water and sanitation.
The charity has also launched education and child protection projects to help some of the most vulnerable children caught up in the crisis.
Life-saving mosquito nets, soap, buckets for clean water and plastic sheeting for shelter have been distributed by Plan through the new START fund.
Families are keen to rebuild their livelihoods too with seeds, tools and fishing kits to earn a living.
“Many children have been separated from families and caregivers,” says Mr Adhikari.
“It makes them more vulnerable to violence and abuse. Conflict has lasting marks on children’s lives.”
For more information on Plan’s work or to make a donation call 0800 526 848 or visit www.plan-uk.org