SUDAN: Floods Kill over 100, Displace Thousands


KHARTOUM, SEPTEMBER 11, 2020 (CISA)-Floods have killed 102, injured 46, destroyed tens of thousands of homes  in Sudan.

“More than half a million people [557,000] are affected by the floods in Sudan – the highest number of flood-affected people reported in the country in more than two decades.

Some 102 people have died and 46 others have been injured, according to the latest figures from the Government of Sudan. Thus far, 17 of Sudan’s 18 states are affected. Khartoum State is the worst affected, with more than 100,000 people in need of assistance,” the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported September 9.

More than 500 km2 of land flooded in Khartoum, Al Gezira and White Nile States, and more than 100,000 homes have been destroyed or damaged.

The floods have been caused by unprecedented heavy rains that have been falling in Sudan for more than a month.

“There are significant gaps in supplies of shelter, health, and water and sanitation hygiene materials. Schools are being used as temporary shelters or have been damaged in flood-affected areas, preventing access to education,” OCHA said.

The disaster prompted the government to declare a three-month state of emergency to boost response efforts.

According to OCHA, the torrential rains had “increased the risk of disease outbreaks and hampered efforts to contain the Covid-19 pandemic.”

“Drainage systems are unreliable and stagnant water in different locations create conducive conditions for water-borne and vector-borne diseases such as cholera, dengue fever, rift valley fever, and chikungunya, in a country with an extremely fragile health system,” it said.

Officials have said they had recorded the highest waters on the Blue Nile, which joins the White Nile in the Sudanese capital Khartoum, since records began over a century ago.

The rising Nile floodwaters also threatened to swamp the ancient archaeological site of al-Bajrawiya, once a royal city of the two-millennia-old Meroitic Empire.

The area includes the famous Meroe pyramids, a UNESCO World Heritage site.  Heavy rains usually fall in Sudan from June to October and the country faces severe flooding every year.