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Eight children drown to death in Bentiu

Eight children drown to death in Bentiu IDP Camp
Bentiu IDPs camp washing corridors and swiming areas. [Photo: Chondok Stephen Magei]

At least eight children drowned to death in the early morning hours in Bentiu IDP Camp of Unity State as they were trying to swim in flood waters on Saturday.

Bentiu IDPs Camp community high committee chairperson John Nhial Ruai confirmed the incident to Juba Echo and said the phenomenon was the second of its after two other people drowned and died at the same place this month.

“These eight children drowned to death in different washing corridors around flood water. It’s very sad indeed to lose eight children in a day. At the beginning of this month, two people drowned to death and today eight children drowned at 8:00 am,” Ruai told Juba Echo.

Bentiu IDP Camp community leaders today organized a public gathering at a football ground to address residents about the increase in the number of children drowning and cautioned parents to look out for their children.

“I call upon community members, joint police forces, elderly people and community watch group to rally behind me to get a solution to minimize rampant children drowning,” Ruai told Juba Echo in an interview.

In May and June, community leaders and joint force commanders agreed to deploy police personnel along the flood water areas to regulate the activities of children in the deadly flood water areas.

International Organization for Migration camp coordination and camp management assistance officer Robert Both Chiok said his organization sensitized the community in Bentiu IDP Camp to discourage children from swimming inside the flood waters to stop children from drowning.

“I urge community leaders; block leaders and ordinary citizens to stop children from taking showers in flood waters,” Both said.

 “Lastly, the camp leadership is in solidarity with the families whose loved ones perished through the most recent drowning incidents at the site,” Both added.

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