South Sudan: Schools ordered to Close due to Extreme heatwaves

Authorities in South Sudan have taken decisive action, announcing the closure of schools across the country starting this week in response to soaring temperatures expected to reach an unprecedented 45 degrees Celsius (113 degrees Fahrenheit).

In a joint statement issued by the ministers of education, health, and environment, the closure, effective from March 18 (Monday), was deemed necessary due to the “serious health hazards” posed to students by the scorching heat.

Health Minister Yolanda Awel Deng highlighted the imminent heatwave, projecting temperatures between 41°C and 45°C for the upcoming weeks, with the extreme conditions anticipated to persist for at least a fortnight.

“There are already cases of death related to excessive heat being reported,” the statement noted, though further details were not provided.

In an advisory aimed at parents, the statement urged vigilance, advising against outdoor activities for children, particularly young ones, who are more susceptible to heat exhaustion.

The directive emphasizes strict enforcement by state authorities, with any school found open during this period facing the withdrawal of its registration.

Continued monitoring of the situation by authorities will inform the public accordingly as the heatwave unfolds.

South Sudan, already grappling with challenges exacerbated by climate change, such as droughts and erratic rainfall patterns, faces heightened vulnerability.

These challenges compound existing difficulties in a nation scarred by violence and economic instability since its independence from Sudan in 2011.

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