South Sudan shutters all schools as it prepares for an extreme heat wave

South Sudan Closes All Schools in Anticipation of Severe Heat Wave

In Juba, the capital of South Sudan, a significant decision has been made to close all schools starting this Monday. This action comes as the country braces itself for an intense heatwave that is expected to persist for two weeks.

The ministries of health and education have issued a warning to parents, urging them to keep their children inside. The reason behind this drastic measure is the forecasted temperature spike, which might reach up to 45 degrees Celsius (113 Fahrenheit).

Schools that defy this closure order during the specified warning period risk losing their registration. However, the official announcement did not clarify the duration for which the schools would remain closed.

The authorities have committed to keeping a close watch on the evolving situation and promised to keep the public informed.

Peter Garang, a resident of Juba, expressed his support for the government’s decision. He highlighted the need for schools to be connected to the electrical grid, which would allow for the installation of air conditioners, making the heat more bearable.

South Sudan, despite being one of the newest nations in the world, faces significant challenges due to climate change. Heatwaves are a common occurrence, but temperatures rarely soared above 40 C (104 F) in the past. The country’s vulnerability is exacerbated by ongoing civil conflict and natural disasters such as droughts and floods, complicating the lives of its residents.

According to the World Food Program’s latest report, South Sudan is grappling with a severe humanitarian crisis. This crisis stems from a combination of factors including violence, economic instability, the impacts of climate change, and the influx of refugees fleeing conflict from neighboring Sudan. In January alone, the World Food Program provided assistance to 818,000 people in need through food and cash-based transfers.