Sudan: Floods in Kassala State Appeal No. 19/2003 interim final report


(pending issuance of final financial report)
Appeal History:

  • Launched on 5 August 2003 for 3 months for CHF 1,917,000 (USD 1,412,563 or EUR 1,250,535) to assist 140,000 beneficiaries. Click here for Appeal narrative.

  • Current appeal coverage: 97.4%

  • Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) Allocated: CHF 200,000

  • Four Operations Updates issued: No. 1 dated 8-August-2003 ; No. 2 dated 12-August-2003; No. 3 dated 20-August 2003; and No. 4 dated 02-September-2003

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All objectives of the Appeal, intended to meet the urgent needs of 140,000 most vulnerable affected by floods in Kassala , were efficiently and effectively achieved. The operation was completed within the planned timeframe; the emergency phase of the operation was concluded on 15 September 2003. All the donated non-food items had been distributed to the 13,000 families (65,000 beneficiaries). Emergency response units (ERU) from the German Red Cross and Austrian Red Cross provided potable water to 150,000 beneficiaries, vector control for 100,000 people and hygiene services for 12 schools. The ERU kit was handed over to the Sudanese Red Crescent.

Torrential rains in the second half of July 2003 caused a series of floods along River Gash which divides Kassala state in two. Despite tireless efforts by Sudanese Red Crescent volunteers to strengthen the dikes along the bridge and the river bank, the raging floods broke through and submerged two thirds of Kassala town. The ensuing flooding has been described as the worst in the area in the last 70 years. The flooding affected over 200,000 people and resulted in 12 deaths. Key buildings, schools, the sole hospital, and the main water plant were all damaged by the floods; many homesteads were partially or fully destroyed, leaving 17,000 families (105,000 persons) without shelter.

With the collapse of major infrastructure, the health situation became precarious leaving Kassala's 350,000 inhabitants with no access to safe drinking water, limited food and poor sanitation facilities. Stagnant water pools became breeding ground for mosquitoes.

The floods damaged the Sudanese Red Crescent branch office in Kassala ; in the begin ning, this made it difficult to establish proper communication with Khartoum. The branch moved its operations into one of the clinics and established satellite phone communication. A joint needs assessment was conducted within two days of the flooding, and formed the basis of the Emergency Appeal. The assessment team was comprised of local authorities, and members of the Sudanese Red Crescent, the Federation, Netherlands Red Cross and Spanish Red Cross.

The Federation launched an Emergency Appeal 19/2003 for CHF 1.9 million (USD 1.4 million) on 5 August 2003 to support the Sudanese Red Crescent relief operations in Kassala State. The funds were used to purchase shelter materials (plastic sheeting), insecticide treated nets (ITN), jerry cans and soap for 13,000 families for an initial period of three months. A team from the German Red Cross and the Austrian Red cross arrived in Kassala on 8 August, 2003 to assist in the provision of clean water and sanitation for the affected population. All objectives of the Appeal were achieved within the Appeal budget and timeframe.

The Kassala branch volunteers were well organized and provided immediate response to victims in advance of outside assistance. Numbering 1,000 in total, the trained volunteers assisted in the evacuation of civilians, provision of first aid, and house-to-house registration of beneficiaries; this formed the basis of all relief operations. The volunteers also assisted in the distribution of relief items , in conducting needs assessments with other NGO, and in sanitation activities in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and WHO.


The Sudanese Red Crescent has been running operations for internally displaced persons (IDP) and refugee camps for many years. This has given branch staff and volunteers good experience in dealing with disasters. The national society also maintains a good working relationship with the local authorities and other agencies operating in the area. As a result, the government granted the Sudanese Red Crescent a lead role in the flood operations.

Coordination meetings were held throughout the disaster during which the national society reported on all activities carried out to support the flood victims. Among these were daily Kassala Emergency Forum meetings, consisting of all international NGO operating in Kassala under the umbrella of the Humanitarian Aid Commission. This forum was formed to coordinate the flow of information under the leadership of the Sudanese Red Crescent. There were daily health meetings on health issues and requirements; shelter meetings to coordinate shelter requirements for victims, and registration meetings to discuss standard procedures and criteria that would be used after the floods.

Federation support was coordinated by the Disaster Management Coordination Division (Geneva) who assigned two experienced technical delegates for short missions to assist with the coordination and logistics matters from Khartoum. Excellent technical support was also provided by the Regional Disaster Preparedness Delegate and the Nairobi Regional Water and Sanitation (WatSan) Delegate who made all the necessary advance preparations for the WatSan ERU. The Federation Representative in Khartoum took over coordination and budget responsibilities in August after the withdrawal of the short-term technical delegates.

The main partners during the operations were: Sudanese Red Crescent, the Federation, members of the Kassala Emergency Forum and the ICRC. The ICRC supported this Appeal by providing trucks for secondary transportation of the goods from Khartoum to Kassala and two drivers with light vehicles for transportation of technical staff between Khartoum and Kassala.

Objectives, achievements, impact

The overall objective of the emergency operation was to meet the urgent needs of 140,000 people affected by floods for a period of three months through the provision of shelter, hygiene, medication and sanitation services to avoid outbreaks of diseases. All objectives were met and this prevented the loss of life through provision of safe water, sanitation facilities, food, shelter, blankets, soap, ITN 1 and vector spraying that prevented a serious outbreak of malaria.


1 ITN - Insecticide-treated mosquito nets

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