15 August 2014

Sudan: Floods Leave 142,000 People in Darfur, Sudan Without Shelter

Darfur — Continuous heavy rains and torrents over the past days have caused further destruction to areas in the Darfur region, and affected about 142,000 people in Sudan since late July, aid organisations estimated.

Radio Dabanga has received alarming reports coming from camps for internally displaced people in Darfur, about displaced living out in the open, exposed to the deteriorating health situations.

The Sudanese Red Crescent Society (SRCS) and the Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC) reported on Wednesday that 142,076 people in Sudan have been affected by the floods since late July, adjusting their estimations of 126,000 affected people on Sunday, upwards. 13,100 houses were destroyed, and 11,350 houses damaged in the affected states. "Critical needs remain in terms of emergency shelters, household items, and the drainage of stagnant water," the organisations stated.

Central Darfur

Garsila camp in Wadi Salih locality, Central Darfur, has been flooded and over 240 farms and several houses in the area were destroyed. One of the Sheikhs of Jeddah camp appealed through Radio Dabanga to the organisations and the government to provide the displaced people, who now stay in the open without food, with plastic sheets and tents.

The coordinator of the Central Darfur camps told Radio Dabanga from Zalingei that the government "falls short" in addressing the disasters caused by the rainfall. "The so-called committees that address the rainfall disasters have not provided any aid to the affected people in Darfur so far."

He reported that Qatar's relief items to the region have not arrived, for which he blames the Sudanese government. The coordinator demanded from the United Nations, the government, the Arab League, and Qatar to deliver aid and develop a strategy that deals with the rain disasters in Darfur.

North Darfur

A flood coming from a nearby valley swept away Nimra town in Saraf Umra locality, located east of Birkat Seira, and demolished over 500 houses to the ground. Only 20 houses were left standing, dilapidated. Residents, who now live without a roof over their heads, told Radio Dabanga that the floods have destroyed all the strategic food stock they had: grains and over a thousand sacks of onions.

An activist from the area described the conditions of the stricken Nimra residents as "very bad, as they now live without food in the open". He appealed to the North Darfur state government and the African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (Unamid) to rescue the distressed civilians in Saraf Umra.

Nearly a thousand houses in Abu Shouk, El Salam, and Zamzam camps in El Fasher, North Darfur, were destroyed by heavy rainfall. An activist from Abu Shouk told Radio Dabanga that, according to the final inventory, 938 houses and 670 families in the camp were affected by the downpour last week. "Most of these affected people now live in the open, while a few of them have been harboured in kindergartens, or stayed with their neighbours." The activist explained that the stagnant water covers large parts of the camp and hampers movement. He expressed his fear that it will attract mosquitoes and diseases will spread.

Rainfall has affected 268 displaced families in El Salam camp, also in El Fasher locality. They have not received any humanitarian aid so far, an activist in the camp said. Also here fear prevails that diseases will spread easily and the health situation will deteriorate as a result of the stagnated water in parts of the camp.

In Zamzam camp, the rains and torrents have doubled the suffering of the newly displaced people in 2014. They have been living in the open, without shelter, food, or non-food relief items since they arrived in the camp following attacks on their villages around El Fasher and Korma by the Rapid Support Forces this year. One of the Sheikhs of the camps explained to Radio Dabanga that the recent rains have caused limited losses to the houses in the camp. "But the 35,000 newly displaced people received the rains without a roof over their heads, which led to the spread of colds, in particular amongst children and the elderly."

South Darfur

Rainfall and floods destroyed over 73 houses belonging to displaced people living in camps in Kass locality on Wednesday and Thursday. The camp coordinator revealed that the downpour and the accompanying torrents destroyed houses in Imtidad El Ghabat, El Batari, and Dugo Dawajin camps. "The rain is still falling... The people need tents and tarpaulins," he appealed to humanitarian organisations.

West Darfur

Torrents coming from Azum valley swept away large parts of Foro Baranga locality in West Darfur. Of five districts in the region, 695 houses were completely demolished, and 1,441 partially. About 3,295 people are left without shelter or food. The affected districts are El Shaati, El Kifah, El Tadamon, and El Zuhur.

'Rain continues until September'

The Sudanese civil defence administration in Khartoum has predicted that the floods might continue until the end of August or the beginning of September. It stressed that the water that flooded the Sudanese capital at the end of last month did not all come from rains, but also from the torrents from nearby valleys. According to the SRCS and the HAC, about 32,358 people were affected by these floods.

The Sudanese Meteorological Authority and the Ministry of Irrigation and Water Resources have warned for more floods, as rains continue, and the Nile River has reached critical flooding levels. The Meteorological Authority expects the rainy season to peak in mid-August.


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