The unprecedented flooding in Sudan is adding to an already complicated year for students across the country. After months without school, mainly due to the COVID-19 pandemic, now tens of thousands of children are at risk of not being able to continue their education when the academic year starts at the end of November. Nearly 560 schools have been damaged or destroyed, including their equipment, furniture and learning materials, since the beginning of the rains in mid-July. In addition, there are at least 60 schools hosting displaced persons seeking shelter. Urgent support, including school rehabilitation and replacement of learning materials for children are needed to make sure that schools can resume activities.
The Education Cluster is currently assessing the extend of damages in hundreds of schools across the country and identifying those facilities hosting displaced people. Partners have over 200 tents and 450 sets of tarpaulins available to provide temporary learning spaces as a first phase of the emergency response and accommodate children whose classrooms have been entirely destroyed. The overall response will include:
Schools damaged or destroyed: Partners will provide Temporary Learning Spaces (TLSs) to assure learning activities can continue. Learning materials, furniture, and equipment will be replaced where necessary.
Schools hosting displaced people: Partners are working to identify alternative, longer-term and more suitable shelter options for people currently sheltering at schools. The Education Cluster will be support in monitoring the schools used as shelters to ensure that facilities are returned to the educational community in a reasonable state and as quickly as possible.
Partners are facing important challenges to respond, including hampered access to affected schools, as roads are impassable in several regions. The lack of funding and the reduced number of operational partners in the affected areas impacts humanitarian’s ability to respond, in a context of emerging and competing needs due to other shocks such as COVID-19. The limited flow of information between school, state, and federal level, as well as reduced capacity for information management – Sudan has no Education Management Information System) – leads to limited availability of data.