Sudan

Flash floods in Sudan devastate homes and livelihoods for 300,000 people

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International aid agencies deliver relief to flood-ravaged areas.
WARWICK, RI. Childreach, part of the international children's charity, Plan, is raising awareness of the string of floods in parts of Sudan affecting hundreds of thousands of people.

The Sudan floods, little covered by the media in the U.S. have wiped away entire communities, leaving people without homes, food, or the means to support themselves.

The floods were caused by an unexpected rainfall that overflowed riverbanks, sending rushing rivers into the village streets.

More than 300,000 people, two-thirds of the country's population, have been left homeless as a result of the devastating floods in Kassala, Sudan and the surrounding locale. Now they are at increased risk of disease and starvation.

As the most active nongovernmental organization in the area, Plan is a member of the State Emergency Committee, which is assessing the situation and delivering food, drinking water and medication to those most in need.

Torrential rains on 29 and 30 July caused the River Gash, in the east of the country, known locally as the Mad River, to burst its banks, washing away villages and roads and damaging the area's infrastructure. The river's banks burst again at the weekend, with 15 communities where Plan works now seriously affected by the floods.

At this point, communication with Kassala via mobile phone has been established. The main road linking Kassala with Khartoum is destroyed eliminating transportation from Khartoum to Kassala. Immediate needs include tents, evacuation of some communities, water tanks, water pumps, generators for the water station, food stuff, mosquito spraying pumps, and medicines for malaria, diarrhea and acute respiratory infections.

Samuel Worthington, National Executive Director for Childreach/Plan, said:

"This disaster is devastating the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in the affected region of Sudan and it is essential to respond quickly. International disaster relief has been slow to reach the communities due to the flood damage disrupting distribution efforts. However, Plan's well-established presence at the grassroots level and our network of local partners has meant that we have been able to respond immediately. People are literally walking in off the street and offering to help us get emergency supplies out to those in need."

Childreach, working in the Sudan since 1970 and in other parts of the world since 1937, has dedicated staff on the ground in the Sudan to relief efforts, in collaboration with local governments. Once the immediate needs are met, Childreach will help restore and redevelop what has been destroyed.

For continuing updates on this situation, visit: http://www.childreach.org/news/updates.html