Nearly 500,000 people affected by floods in Sudan so far in 2020
Over 496,000 people in 16 of the 18 states in Sudan have been affected by torrential rains and riverine floods, according to the Government’s Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC). Over 49,000 homes have been destroyed and over 50,00 have been damaged. People whose homes have been affected are living out in the open, exposing them to harsh climatic conditions, insecurity and other vulnerabilities associated with lack of shelter. The Sudan Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources, reported that the Nile River reached 17.43 metres, the highest level in 100 years. The situation is expected to get worse over the coming weeks, as above-average rains are forecast until the end of September. Flash floods have submerged villages in all states and caused immense damage to infrastructure, including dams, roads, bridges and highways. Drainage systems are unreliable as there is stagnant water in different locations, posing a risk to health outbreaks as pools of water become breeding grounds for water-borne and vector-borne diseases such as cholera, dengue fever, rift valley fever, and chikungunya. Hygiene and sanitary levels have plummeted due to flooded latrines and contaminated water supplies, preventing people from exercising necessary COVID-19 prevention measures.
Khartoum State is the worst affected state, with about 102,000 people reportedly affected, according to HAC. On 2 September humanitarian partners carried out inter-agency assessments in Omdurman and Jebel Aulya localities of Khartoum State.
Government and local communities report that to date 762 homes have been destroyed and 1,273 homes damaged in southern Omdurman mainly in Al Salha area (Al Qaia’a, Al Oshara, Al Sirew), and the villages of Um Owaina, Al Zurgan, Braka Alshat and Al Sulimaniya. The main needs identified include emergency shelter and household supplies, access to clean water, sanitation and health services, and drainage of water.
There is no access to clean water in all the affected areas and a large number of latrines have collapsed. Mosquito nets, vector control, anti/drugs for scorpion and snake bites, malaria and diarrhea treatment are all needed. Tents are needed for those who lost their homes and about 90 per cent of affected household have lost household items such as mattresses, blankets, water storage containers and kitchen utensils. Neighbourhood and main roads are inundated and need to be drained.
Jebel Aulya locality
Five villages (El Assal, Um Rabah, Gamar, Wed Mukhtar and Um Garageer) situated along the White Nile at Jebel Aulya locality have been affected by riverine flooding on 27 August affecting nearly 46,000 people. About 1,500 homes have been destroyed and 570 homes and over 2,000 latrines have been damaged. People affected are being hosted by relatives and friends in the area.
There are two primary health care facilities nearby. No outbreak of diseases has been reported but the health situation may soon deteriorate due to the contamination of water sources and stagnant pools of water. A referral system needs to be set up to support community-based surveillance (CBS) to detect and respond to possible disease outbreaks. The two health facilities also need medicines and medical supplies.
Torrential rains and flash floods in 2019 affected more than 426,000 people across the country, according to HAC and partners. This is almost twice the number of people affected by floods in 2018. Over 32,000 of the people affected were in Khartoum State.