Floods Prompt State of Emergency in Khartoum State, Sudan

Heavy rainfall on Wednesday 30 July 2014 in Khartoum state, Sudan, has caused severe flooding, prompting officials to declare a state of emergency. The area has been suffering from flooding for the last 7 days. Some forecasts say the rain will continue for at least 1 more week, and possibly until 11 August.

Worst affected areas are around the city of Omdurman, which sits on the western banks of the River Nile, opposite the capital, Khartoum. Local media claim that hundreds of houses have been destroyed, and floods have left streets blocked , forcing the city to close all schools until the flood water recedes. Several villages to the south of Omdurman have also been badly affected.

Khartoum state governor, Abdel-Rahman Al-Khidir issued the state of emergency and put emergency rescue teams on high alert. There is however some anger amongst locals at the inadequate actions of the state government. Poor and blocked drainage systems – still not cleaned since last year’s flooding – are thought by many locals to be responsible for worsening the recent floods.

The recent heavy rainfall and floods have also isolated 15 villages in the the southern part of El Gezira State, where over 100 houses have been destroyed.

Khartoum state and other areas of Sudan have seen frequent flooding over the last 2 weeks. Shendi,about 150km north of Khartoum, suffered severe floods between 24 and 25 July 2014, destroying important roads in the area.

Also around that time, the refugee camp at Bentiu was inundated, adding to the misery of residents of the camp.