Skip to main content

A man carries belongings as he wades through of a flooded road in the town of Shaqilab, about (25 km) southwest of the capital, Khartoum, Sudan, Monday, Aug. 31, 2020.

The Canadian Press

Sudanese authorities declared their country a natural disaster area and imposed a three-month state of emergency across the country after rising floodwaters and heavy rainfall killed around 100 people and inundated over 100,000 houses since late July.

The announcement was made late Friday following a meeting of the country’s Defence and Security Council which is headed by a top government official, Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan.

Flooding caused by seasonal heavy rainfall, mostly in neighbouring Ethiopia, led the Nile River to rise about 17.5 metres late in August, the highest level it has reached in about a century according to the Sudanese Irrigation Ministry.

Story continues below advertisement

The ministry said water levels of the Blue Nile are higher than the 1988 flood levels that destroyed tens of thousands of homes in several parts of Sudan and displaced over one million people.

Labour and Social Development Minister Lina al-Sheikh said the flooding had killed some 100 people, as well as injured at least 46 people and affected more than 500,000 people across the country. More than 100,000 houses across the country were totally or partly collapsed, she said.

The U.N. humanitarian agency has warned that the situation is expected to get worse over the coming weeks, as above-average rains are forecast until the end of September.

The capital of Khartoum was hit hard in the past two weeks. Residents in several districts of the city were seen erecting barricades and other shields as water from the Nile swept through several neighbourhoods, in footage circulating online.

The military deployed troops to help evacuate people and build barricades in Khartoum as well as distribute food, after flooding there cut roads and swept away houses and belongings.

Earlier this week, the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, or OCHA, said access to clean water, which is critical amid the coronavirus pandemic, has also been reduced, with the floods knocking out or contaminating some 2,000 water sources.

OCHA said last week that the flooding also damaged at least 43 schools and 2,671 health facilities across the country, and that large swaths of agricultural land across the country were also flooded in the middle of the harvest season.

Story continues below advertisement

The U.N. refugee agency, or UNHCR, said tens of thousands of refugees and internally displaced people were affected, particularly in North Darfur province, where 15 people have died and a further 23 have gone missing.

OCHA urged wider support from the international community, as a $1.6 billion humanitarian plan for Sudan is less than 44% funded and aid stocks have been “depleted rapidly.”

Seasonal rains and flooding last year left a total of 78 people dead in 16 of Sudan’s 18 provinces, between July and August, according to the U.N.

This content appears as provided to The Globe by the originating wire service. It has not been edited by Globe staff.

Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies