Sudan: Floods in Kassala State Appeal No. 19/2003 Operations Update No. 4

Originally published


Launched on: 05 August 2003 for CHF 1,917,000 (USD 1,412,563 or EUR 1,250,535) for 3 months for 140,000 beneficiaries.
Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) allocated: CHF 200,000

Period covered: 18 August to 1 September, 2003

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In Brief

Appeal coverage: 87%; for details see the attached contributions list, also available on the Federation's website.

Outstanding needs: CHF 256,897

Related Emergency or Annual Appeals: 2003 Annual Appeal for Sudan (no. 01.10/2003) and Sudan Drought (no. 17/03)

Operational Summary: Due to the evolving nature of the situation, the number of beneficiaries receiving nonfood supplies under this appeal has been increased to 13,000 families, or some 65,000 persons. This decision has been reached by the Humanitarian Assistance Coordination (HAC) committee which is managing the response to the emergency at the local level. The figure is based on a revision of those affected, and a shortfall in overall support from other agencies. The SRCS and Federation plan to provide assistance to this group through the existing appeal, planned activities, the re-allocation of non-food item stocks currently on hand, and strategic adjustments. Donors are encouraged to contribute to meet the remaining funding needs, and to support the SRCS who has been the major player in responding to the needs of the beneficiaries, together with the Federation and WFP.

Most of the non-food items flown in from Amman have been distributed and all additional items for the extra 25,000 beneficiaries have been ordered and are expected to arrive in the next two days (Note: a consolidated distribution report for the 14 - 25 August period is attached here as an annex). The ERU provided by the Austrian and German Red Cross societies is fully operational providing potable water to 150,000 beneficiaries, vector control for 100,000 people, and sanitation and hygiene services initially to 12 schools in the area.

The health situation appears to be under control, with no outbreaks of epidemics. Larvaecide and indoor spraying is being carried out and 26,000 insecticide treated nets (ITN's) are being distributed by the SRCS to prevent malaria outbreaks. SRCS volunteers continue to manage and operate 7 health clinics with support from the Ministry of Health and Federation provided drugs from the Emergency Health kits that were flown to the area.

The Head of Operation and senior health officer (Geneva) visited Khartoum and Kassala from August 24 - 30 to review the programme and initiate an exit strategy in particular for the ERU team that is expected to complete its work by mid-September. The Khartoum-based flood coordinator and Kassala-based logistics officer completed their missions. The team has been strengthened by the employment of an experienced local specialist who will oversee completion of the operation.

The Sudanese Red Crescent Society and their volunteers continue to be recognised by the affected population and the local media as key players in what is generally regarded a very successful operation, a point made by the Governor of Kassala State.

Operational developments

The Humanitarian Assistance Coordination (HAC) Committee that is tasked by the Government to coordinate th e response to this disaster has reviewed the affected caseload and concluded that close to 17,000 families or 105,000 people have totally or partially lost their houses. It has been decided that these beneficiaries should receive both food and non-food assistance from agencies operating in the area. WFP with SRCS support has been tasked to distribute food. The SRCS, with Federation support, has been tasked to distribute non-food items (plastic sheeting, blankets, jerry cans, soap and treated mosquito nets) to 13,000 families. The needs of the initial 8,000 beneficiaries have been met primarily through relief goods flown o t Kassala from Amman. All the remaining goods have now been ordered, mostly from local suppliers in the Sudan, under the existing competitive bidding procedures of the SRCS and distributions are continuing.

The Austrian/German ERU team is fully operational with tanks and equipment set up at strategic locations of the city providing water to 150,000 people, mostly through the existing grid with some supplementary tankering. Vector control (screening and spraying) is provided to about 100,000 beneficiaries. Additionally the ERU has been approached and has agreed to empty and renovate sanitation facilities at initially 12 primary schools in badly affected areas of the city.

The health situation in Kassala remains stable with no epidemics or other major health problems reported during the reporting period.

Red Cross and Red Crescent action - objectives, progress, impact

Objective: To provide emergency relief items and medical support to those affected and prevent outbreak of disease and to provide water and sanitation services for a period of three months.

Progress/Achievements (activities implemented within this objective)

Relief items for the initially identified 8,000 families have been distributed and items for the additional caseload ordered and in some instances delivered to Kassala. Please refer to the tables below.

Clean water is being provided to approximately 150,000 people, primarily by assisting the water authorities by treating borehole water whilethe water system is being repaired, with some supplementary tankering being carried out in the most affected areas. Approximately 100,000 beneficiaries have benefited from vector control activities (spraying and cleaning). 12 schools in the most affected areas have been identified for a more systematic sanitation up grading that is being carried out.

In the health sector, the 7 SRCS clinics have seen over 10,000 patients in the 2 weeks under review, but no significant health problems due to floods have been observed.

The much needed distribution of impregnated mosquito nets has started, and will be completed in the next weeks. The Federation has agreed to provide 26,000 nets to the 13, 000 families SRCS has been asked to support.


The SRCS, with Federation and sister society support, is the main agency engaged in the response to this disaster. This is being acknowledged both by the beneficiaries, the Government and the International Community. The timely intervention in the WATSAN and health sectors has resulted in virtually no significant deterioration in the health situation in the city. It is of course understood that for those that have lost their houses and most of their possessions the Red Cross/Crescent intervention in the non-food sector will need to be supplemented with rehabilitation and reconstruction support provided through other channels. Nevertheless, the SRCS is one of the few agencies that has managed to provide at least some support to those affected.


The major constraint encountered during this reporting period has been the increase in the beneficiaries' numbers. Although the impact has been partly offset by locally negotiated 100,000 Euro contribution from the French Embassy in Khartoum, additional relief items are being purchased under the existing Appeal. It is estimated that between 100,000 - 150,000 additional CHF will be needed to meet the additional needs.

Federation coordination

Coordination under this Appeal continues to be excellent. This is primarily due to the Sudanese Red Crescent having taken a clear lead from the outset of the emergency, articulating the needs and priorities for the Red Cross Red Crescent intervention. A relief agreement has been signed and negotiated.

Most of the donor societies have committed their support in unearmarked cash contributions greatly enhancing operational flexibility. Deployment of the ERU team has also been well coordinated and supported on the ground.

Sister societies, primarily from within the region, that provided bilateral support have done so by and large, with provision of food and relief items that could be utilised by the SRCS and distributed to the beneficiaries.

The society's good relations with the Government and local authorities, that has enabled us to fly needed supplies directly to Cassava, rather than Khartoum has contributed significantly to the timeliness and speed of this operation.

Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement -- Principles and initiatives

Cooperation between the Movement components under this Appeal continues to be good. Of particular value has been the ICRC logistical support and temporary provision of trucks and vehicles that facilitated movement of relief goods. This has been of particular value, as some of the commercial trucking companies raised their prices to profit from the emergency.

National Society Capacity Building

Sudanese Red Crescent and its Kassala branch will benefit from this operation primarily in the watsan and telecommunication sectors. The ERU team has been working closely with counterparts not only from the SRCS but also from the Governmental Water Corporation. Staff have been trained in detecting contaminated water sources and to run the basic ERU services beyond the stay of the German and Austrian RC team. The society will receive the ERU vehicles and equipment upon completion of this operation.

A mission to upgrade telecom facilities in Kassala is due to arrive shortly, bringing in much needed equipment, in particular radio handsets that will facilitate the work of the SRCS volunteers. Additional training activities are planned and will be implemented subject to budgetary constraints.

Communications - Advocacy and Public Information

As the emergency is to all practical purposes over, media interest, never strong in this disaster, has moved on elsewhere. Nevertheless, the Federation continuest o post stories on the Web, DMIS is regularly updated and when appropriate media work is being carried out.

For further details please contact:

  • Omer Osman, Secretary General, Sudanese Red Crescent Society, Khartoum, mobile: + 249 12307 41
  • Erja Reinikainen, Federation Regional Program Coordinator, Nairobi, phone: + 254 20 271 425, email:
  • Martin Zak, Head of Operations for Africa, Geneva, phone: +41 22 730 4551, email:
All International Federation Operations seek to adhere to the Code of Conduct and are committed to the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response (SPHERE Project) in delivering assistance to the most vulnerable. For further information concerning Federation operations in this or other countries, please access the Federation website at

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