Flooding devastates rural areas south of Sudan's capital

UN expects at least 460,000 people to be affected by the rains this year

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Annual rains have left dozens dead in Sudan, and thousands of people in the farming town of Al Managil and surrounding villages have lost homes and property in what they say is the worst flooding in a decade.

“We've lost everything,” said 29-year-old Butheyna Alhadi, speaking to Reuters amid the ruins of her family home.

“Five families lived here and now it's destroyed. We have no shelter and we've lost all our property,” she said.

Nationwide, more than 150,000 people have been affected by flooding so far this year, double the number at the same stage of last year's rainy season, the UN says. Almost 34,000 homes have been damaged or destroyed and authorities say 89 people have died.

By the end of the rainy season, which typically continues into September, the UN expects at least 460,000 people to be affected, a higher number than most previous years due to heavier rains.

In Al Managil, a farming area about 150 kilometres south of the capital Khartoum, Sudanese Red Crescent official Jamal Mustafa said more than 100 villages had been cut off and 10,000 homes had been damaged or collapsed. At least 3,000 people have sought shelter in makeshift camps.

Residents said they had limited access to drinking water or food, with most assistance cut off by water two metres deep in some places.

“Any aid, shelter, or transport is happening through the local volunteer effort,” said local leader Altayib Abdallah. “The government hasn't offered any assistance.”

Sudan's Sovereign Council head Gen Abdel Fattah Al Burhan on Sunday said the government would provide the necessary assistance to Al Managil, including clearing ditches, fixing the main road to the area and providing compensation.

People cross the water during a flood in Al Managil, Sudan. Reuters

Lorries carrying aid from Qatar and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces could be seen waiting for roads to clear.

Some members of the army engineering corps were seen trying to clear the main road, but locals said they had been struggling to divert water back into irrigation ditches mostly on their own.

“For the last 10 days, we've been working day and night to stop the flows,” said Yaseen Abdalla, 35, standing knee-deep in water.

Updated: August 25, 2022, 6:31 PM
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