At least 75 homes collapsed and over 260 were damaged following heavy rains that affected Sudan's town of Abu Hamad in River Nile state on July 28. Picture: Humanitarian Aid Commission
At least 75 homes collapsed and over 260 were damaged following heavy rains that affected Sudan's town of Abu Hamad in River Nile state on July 28. Picture: Humanitarian Aid Commission

Flash floods destroy houses and wash away crops in Sudan

By African News Agency Time of article published Aug 5, 2020

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Johannesburg - Hundreds of houses have been destroyed and vital infrastructure damaged due to riverine and flash flooding after heavy rains across large parts of Sudan, the United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has said.

In a reported issued earlier this week, OCHA said more than 1,200 houses had been damaged or destroyed, leaving several hundred people homeless. The Khartoum, Blue Nile and River Nile states were among the hardest-hit, with damage also reported in the El Gezira, West Kordofan and South Darfur regions.

“According to preliminary information from local authorities, several hectares of crops might have been lost and over 150 livestock washed away, increasing the risk of heightened food insecurity in the months ahead,” the UN relief agency said.

It said the biggest obstacle to meeting the most immediate needs was logistics, especially in Blue Nile where roads were impassable, making the area accessible only by helicopter.

The collapse of the Bout Earth Dam in Blue Nile after exceeding full capacity risked compromising access to water for over 84,000 people.

The heavy rainfall had also increased the risk of disease outbreaks and could hamper efforts to contain the Covid-19 pandemic.

OCHA warned the situation could worsen in the coming days, with higher-than-average rainfall forecast throughout August in at least three quarters of the country.

The Sudanese government and humanitarian partners were already responding and supporting the families with life-saving assistance, while assessments were underway in affected areas.

In Blue Nile, at least three flights had already reached the area with emergency supplies, including medicines, hygiene kits, water purification products, mosquito nets and other non-food items.

Food, emergency shelter and other items, including kitchen utensils still needed to be transported.

In Khartoum, the local authorities and partners had already mobilised rice, lentils, cooking oil and wheat flour, as well as 600 pieces of plastic sheets for the affected population.

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