Needs assessment of vulnerable populations living in flood-prone areas in Khartoum State (March 2022)



The overall objective of this assessment is to map and analyse the WASH, Shelter/Non-Food Items and Food Security/Livelihoods (FSL) needs of vulnerable residents living in floodprone areas in Khartoum State. The assessment provides cohesive data on the household characteristics, economic situation and food security of vulnerable households across Khartoum.

Within the parameters of WASH, the assessment also provides an overview of water access and quality, latrine access and quality, hygiene practices, as well as solid waste management practices. Additionally, living conditions related to the different shelter conditions are analysed. A gender- and disability analysis is included, related to specific risks faced by children, women and people with disabilities (PwDs).

In addition, this assessment focuses specifically on disaster risks related to the annual flooding during the rainy season (July – September) and focuses on the needs in the community as well as their capacities to prepare and respond. Based on the findings, the assessment will present several recommendations to be included in the design of humanitarian and nexus programming responding to the needs of vulnerable communities in Khartoum State, including in preparation and response to natural disaster.

The assessment was conducted in the most vulnerable and flood-prone settlements across Khartoum state. Settlements include Mayo in Jabal Awlia locality, where IDPs, refugees, and vulnerable host communities reside, as well as the Open Areas of Khartoum, home to appr. 40,000 South Sudanese refugees.1 In addition, villages along the While Nile basin are included as they are affected by flooding on an annual basis.
The needs assessment is based on 296 household surveys as well as rapid site matrices filled out based on key informant interviews in the communities. Data was collected in December 2021.


Open Areas

Approximately 300,000 South Sudanese refugees live in Khartoum State. According to the UNHCR Population Dashboard, appr. 40.000 of them live in the so-called Open Areas in Khartoum. Open Areas have been present since 2011 as a way to organize the South Sudanese population in temporary settlements after separation of South Sudan. Though relocation of South Sudanese was anticipated and efforts had started up, due to the civil war which erupted in 2013, the vast majority of refugees have not been able to return and they continue to reside in these settlements for appr. 10 years. According to UNHCR data, Open Areas are characterized by poor WASH conditions, lack of durable shelter solutions, lack of access to basic services such as healthcare and education, and high protection risks including Gender-based Violence (GBV). Appr. 75% of refugees in Khartoum experience high or extremely high shelter vulnerability.

2 Many refugees continue to reside in improvised/makeshift shelters in Khartoum, which is a combination of plastic sheets, burlap, branches, and bamboo. Poor WASH conditions include a lack of latrine adequacy, access to clean water, handwashing facilities, and access to waste disposal. As a result, communities are forced to buy water, leading to negative coping mechanisms as a result of high prices. Communicable disease outbreaks are proliferating at the same time, with water and vector-borne diseases leading to high mortality and morbidity, particularly among new-borns. In Jabal Awlia locality, the Open Areas for South Sudanese refugees included in this assessment are Dar Es Salaam Block 7, Dar Es Salaam Block 8, and Bentiu. In Sharq Al Nile, Open Areas include Al Takamol, Haj Yousef Baraka Block 3, and Haj Yousef Baraka Block 4.