OCHA Sudan Floods Situation Report No. 11: 2 September 2003

Situation Report
Originally published

1. UNDAC continues to monitor the situation, and with the easing of water levels, more areas have become accessible for information gathering purposes.

2. The level of the Gash River has returned to normal (information source KEF), and the same decline in water levels has been reported along the Blue Nile and the White Nile.

3. Two new UNDAC members arrived on Tuesday 26 August. They will take over and follow up the coordination of information. An overlap of two days allowed a smooth handover to the new team.


Water and Sanitation

4. The water supply to Kassala town is now adequate. Chlorination of wells within the town is ongoing before these supplies are pumped into the town network (source SRC, GRC). Additional tanks provide extra storage capacity.


5. The health situation in the Kassala area remains stable, although poor hygiene in certain areas due to the lack of potable water and inadequate sanitation facilities still remains a threat over the longer term. Diarrhoea is stable at about 0.4/1000 and malaria at about 1.8/1000.

6. The distribution of mosquito nets is still seen as a major means in reducing disease over the longer term. HAC Khartoum is stressing the need for coordination in the distribution of nets, especially in newly accessible areas. Additional mosquito nets are still required to meet the target of 63,000. Approximately 10,000 nets have been distributed to date.


7. The total amount of food distributed as of 26 August is 946.63 MT. Food was distributed to 10,302 households.


8. The impact of the floods on agriculture is of severe concern in the Kassala area, because it affects household related horticulture and the rain fed farming agricultural schemes. Livestock, nurseries, agricultural land and fruit trees have all been affected which may result in long-term suffering. As previously reported, seeds should be made available for distribution. Identified emergency needs for immediate replanting of lost crops are 678 MT of sorghum seed, 3 MT of onion seed and 12 MT of seed for animal fodder.


9. Schools should have reopened on 30 August. However, many remain closed due to a lack of sufficiently rehabilitated classrooms and school materials. In addition, teachers are still occupied with the rehabilitation of their own households. Floodwater has to be drained from latrines, and many areas need to be disinfected. Flood related debris has to be cleaned up and removed.


10. On 24 August, the UNDAC Team called for an informal meeting with humanitarian partners. Organisations present included WHO, WFP, FAO, UNICEF, and IFRC together with two representatives from the Spanish Red Cross (on behalf of the Sudanese Red Crescent). The purpose of the meeting was to exchange the latest available information on reports of floods in various locations throughout Sudan, excluding Kassala.

Kassala State

11. The accessible parts of Hadalya and Wagar areas within the Gash delta are newly assessed and some 500 households are affected, with 20 of them totally damaged. Shelter, food and health support are urgently needed. There are other areas, which need to be assessed by air.

Gedaref State

12. There has been no change since the last assessment report, which indicated that five villages had been affected. Indications are that the population and local agencies are coping with the situation, and that assistance is limited to the supply of seeds for damage to agricultural crops.

Gezira State

13. No more villages have been affected since the initial assessment. The National Government is sending doctors and medical supplies to the area. The message from Gezira State Government is that they can cope with the situation. Floods affect this area annually, and it is reported that the impact is less severe than in 2002.

Kosti and Rabak areas

14. On 19th August, large parts of White Nile State received heavy rains and strong winds. Areas of Kosti and Rabak were the most severely affected. Storms led to the collapse of electricity poles and power lines, with widespread damage to houses (source WHO, WFP, UNICEF.)

15. A reassessment carried out by SRC on 23 August indicates that the situation is now under control. Power and water supplies were fully restored as of 23 August. SRC is present in the Kosti and Rabak areas with 4 Emergency Response Units (ERUs). A number of NGOs are also present.

16. Incoming requests have included food for a period of one month, which WFP has agreed to provide, and some non-food items (NFIs), for those hit hardest. WFP also noted that there is an existing food distribution programme in place for the two IDP camps in the area, which were affected (accommodating, in total, some 14,000 people), and these will continue as normal.

17. SRC is assessing the need for NFIs on a house-to-house basis, because the level of damage, and thus the relative need, varies significantly from one household to the next. The SRC will then distribute the required NFI materials to the most seriously damaged houses, on the basis of these assessments.

18. WHO reports that there are sufficient drugs available, and WHO has a Public Health Officer assigned to this area.

19. One concern raised by SRC is that there is considerable standing water in the area of Rabak that has persisted for some three weeks. WHO indicated that the Kosti/Rabak area is part of the National Malaria Preparedness Programme, and has dedicated funds available for insecticides and spraying via the Ministry of Health.

Unity State

20. There have been no additional reports of flooding in Bentiu and the situation is under control. WFP indicated that most of the population, which is almost exclusively IDPs, receive food as part of WFP's food distribution programmes in the area and are therefore covered. MSF is also present with supplementary feeding centres. WHO reports that the health situation is under control. MSF France is distributing medical items as required, of which there are sufficient supplies available. Bentiu has a strong NGO presence, and as such, additional support is not needed at the present time.


21. No new flooding has been reported. Three IDP camps in the south have been assessed. SRC noted that they have 16 ERUs in the area. Indications are that people are coping. The main concern is with regard to stagnant water. There are reports of ten deaths of children from diarrhoea in Malaki. This information is to be verified.

River Nile, Northern and North Kordofan States

22. No relevant information has been received on requirements for additional assistance.

Contacts: Office of the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator: Guadalupe de Sousa: +249 1230 8703 (; Information: Peer Rechenbach ( or mobile +249 1230 6469.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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