Families struggle as heavy rain, more floods expected in Sudan

Since July, at least 115 people have been killed after days of torrential rains brought record-breaking floods.

Floodwaters in Sudan reach record levels, in Khartoum
The rain and flooding exceeded records set in 1946 and 1988, forcing the government to declare a three-month state of emergency [Reuters]

Thousands of people continue to live under the threat of incoming heavy rain and further flooding in parts of Sudan, months after floods ravaged nearly all of the country’s states.

Since July, at least 115 people have been killed in the aftermath of days of torrential rains that brought record-breaking flash floods.

The African nation through which the Nile river flows is in the middle of its rainy season, which lasts from June to October.

The United Nations is scaling up emergency food assistance, and hundreds of thousands of people are living in desperate conditions in makeshift camps.

Hanan Shariff, a flood victim, has been living in a makeshift camp for the past 13 days in Sinjah, a town in the southwestern state of Sennar, after the floods submerged her village.

“We tried to build fences to protect our home but the winds were too strong, so we decided to salvage what we could and fled,” Shariff told Al Jazeera.

Sudan’s Sinnar state flooding: Families find shelter in schools

The rain and flooding exceeded records set in 1946 and 1988, forcing the government to declare a three-month state of emergency.

In recent days, the government has issued new warnings to communities living on the banks of the Nile that rains in the highlands of Ethiopia could lead to more flooding along the river, said Al Jazeera’s Mohammed Adow, reporting from Sinjah.

A total of 18 villages in Sennar state are “marooned by the floodwaters and cut off from the rest of the state,” Adow said.

Rowda Tayyib said people have “lost all hope”.

“The floods destroyed our homes and swept away our livestock and everything we owned. We have nothing left,” she told Al Jazeera.

A committee tasked with dealing with the ramifications of the floods warned two weeks ago that the country may face more rains, adding that the water level in the Blue Nile rose to a record 17.58 metres.

The floods have so far affected more than half a million people and caused the total and partial collapse of more than 100,000 homes in at least 16 Sudanese states.

Camps for the displaced are growing in number and size in the outskirts of Sinjah, according to Adow.

Mutwali Adam of the UN children’s fund (UNICEF) said people at the camp require “basic humanitarian needs like food, shelters and medicine”.

“Local communities provided some food, and also we complement each other as humanitarian actors here in the field,” Adam told Al Jazeera.

The dire humanitarian situation has been exacerbated by the country’s economic downfall and political deadlock. The government declared an economic state of emergency after its currency fell sharply in recent weeks.

The cost of food and transport have continued to soar across the country.

According to Adow, prices of some staple foods like bread and sugar have increased by 50 percent over the past few weeks, with many fearing the crisis will worsen.

Source: Al Jazeera