- Heavy rains and flooding have affected over 380,000 people in Sudan since the start of the rainy season in July, according to preliminary data from the Government’s Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC).
- More than 37,000 homes have been destroyed, forcing most of the families affected to seek shelter with relatives and host communities.
- The Government, led by HAC, and aid organizations are providing life-saving assistance to people affected.
- Partners are facing some challenges, as roads become impassable in several areas and prepositioned emergency supplies are being rapidly depleted.
Heavy rains and flash floods since mid-July have affected over 380,000 people and killed nearly 90 across 17 states in Sudan, as of 25 August, according to preliminary data from the Government’s Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC). The continued storms and flooding are causing damages to houses, schools, water points and other critical infrastructure, with North Darfur, Sennar, and West Kordofan states amongst the hardest-hit.
More than 37,000 homes have been destroyed, forcing most of the families affected to seek shelter with relatives and host communities. Another 39,000 houses 34 schools and 2,671 health facilities have been damaged, according to HAC. Food security might have been further compromised as approximately 1,300 have died and thousands of acres of crops have been lost or will not be cultivated.
Access to clean water, in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, has also been affected. Around 2,000 water sources are now contaminated or non-functional and the collapse of the Bout Earth Dam in Blue Nile State, on 29 July, risks compromising access to water for over 100,000 people, including IDPs and refugees, who rely on it as their primary source of water.
In Kassala State, some parts of Rural Aroma and Hamashkoreib localities are inaccessible as roads are impassable and some areas become inland islands surrounded by water. Water supplies have been affected due to power cuts and shortages in fuel to run water stations.
In White Nile State, mitigation efforts carried out by civil defence and grassroots organizations protected several people who otherwise would have been affected by the rise of floodwaters on the White Nile. However, over 10,000 people have been impacted by flash floods across the state.
In South Darfur, there are reports of people affected in settlements for internally displaced people in Kalma and Al Sultan, as well as in Nyala South and Nyala North localities, according to local authorities.
The rainy season increases the possibilities of disease outbreaks in Sudan, including heightened risks of COVID-19 transmissions amongst the displaced population. With limited access to water, sanitation and health services, several communities are now even more exposed to water-borne and vector-borne disease such as cholera, dengue fever, rift valley fever and chikungunya, all endemic to Sudan.
The situation is expected to deteriorate over the coming weeks, as above-average rains are forecast until the end of September. The Ministry of Irrigation and Water Resources informed that, according measurements at the Dayem station, water levels of the Blue Nile are higher than the 1906 flood levels and close to the 1988 levels. Over the last years, floods affected nearly 100,000 people in 2017, around 220,000 in 2018, and more than 420,000 in 2019.
The torrential rains and flooding compound increasing and emerging humanitarian needs in Sudan, as the country deals with one of its worse food crises of the last decade, a sharp economic downturn, the escalation of violence in Darfur region, and Kassala and Red Sea states, the COVID-19 pandemic and the recently declared polio outbreak.
The Government's Humanitarian Aid Commission has activated and is leading a national Flood Task Force to coordinate the response with all partners. Needs identified through assessments include emergency shelter and household supplies, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) assistance, food and agricultural assistance, health, and vector control. A quick response has been possible as Government, UN agencies and partners prepositioned supplies to respond to the needs of 250,000 people before the rains started.
But the stocks are being depleted rapidly and more support, including from donors, is urgently needed.
In White Nile State, emergency shelter, household supplies and WASH materials and food are being provided. Humanitarians have reported challenges to reach El Salam and Tendalti localities, as well as gaps in shelter and household supplies.
In North Darfur, response is ongoing in Kebkabiya and Al Lait localities, including food and WASH supplies. In South Darfur, distributions of emergency shelter and household supplies are ongoing in Mosey, Otash and Dereige IDP camps, with humanitarians requesting support from Khartoum to fill the gaps in shelter and non-food items supplies.
Replenishment of emergency materials will be required to meet the needs of an increasing number of people affected by floods and also to sustain the regular humanitarian response across the country. The Sudan Humanitarian Response Plan for 2020, which seeks US$1.6 billion, is less than 44 per cent funded.
For more information, please contact OCHA Sudan:
Saviano Abreu, firstname.lastname@example.org
Nahla Zarroug, email@example.com
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.