Two thirds of the population (more than
300,000 people) have been left homeless and at risk of disease and starvation
as a result of the devastating floods in and around the town of Kassala,
in eastern Sudan. Plan is a member of the government's State Emergency
Committee and has been assessing the situation and delivering emergency
supplies to those most in need.
Torrential rains on 29 and 30 July caused the River Gash and the River Atbara, in the east of the country, to burst their banks, washing away villages and roads and damaging the area's infrastructure. The Rivers' banks burst for the second time on 9 and 10 August, with 21 communities where Plan works now seriously affected by the floods. Children and their families, in these and surrounding communities, have lost their homes and are suffering from food and safe water shortages.
John Greensmith, Plan's International Executive Director 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 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."
Plan has also rehabilitated the sanitation system and provided emergency equipment to Kassala's main hospital, which is serving all the affected areas.
Further flood damage is expected in the River Atbara and Kassala areas as the rainy season continues to the end of August. Houses are collapsing in the Atbara area due to the rain and the Gash River, known locally as the Mad River Gash, is likely to burst its banks once more.