Celebrating Eid ‘no priority’ for Sudan’s flood victims
Thousands of people still live in the open Kassala state after floods and rains caused the collapse of homes and buildings, days ahead of Eid El Adha. “My children asked me how our relatives can possibly visit us for the feast.”
Floods in Kassala have caused the destruction of 1,990 houses and the partial collapse of 2,992 houses, mostly in the town districts of Makram, Kadugli, El Nour, in the northern state localities and around the Atbara river.
One of the flood victims told Radio Dabanga that his children have not asked about the lamb they would sacrifice during Eid El Adha this year – an event usually looked forward to by children and families.
“They have realised the magnitude of the tragedy we are living in. My sons were wondering how our relatives would visit our home during Eid on Tuesday, while we are living out in the open.”
In addition, construction costs have remarkably risen with the spike in prices for bricks, lime and cement. “This makes it unable to rebuild the house soon, or buy a lamb for Eid.”
‘Eid El Adha is no priority’
Another affected resident in Kassala told Radio Dabanga that having a lamb to sacrifice during Eid El Adha “is no longer a priority, especially as we are still looking for shelter to protect ourselves from the torrential rains”. The man said they have lost all their possessions because of floods.
Prices for lamb in Kassala now range between SDG4,000 ($142*) and SDG6,000 ($213), as there is a low demand for it seen the increasingly higher costs of living in Sudan.
Also in West Kordofan, an unknown number of people continue to live scattered in towns, out in the open, or in the ruins of their destroyed homes. A victim in En Nahud told Radio Dabanga, sitting next to the ruins of his family’s collapsed house: “No one is thinking about sacrificing as we do not have the money.
“Sheep prices have risen to SDG4,000, even though this region is a source of livestock.”
An official in the town said that the disaster has caused the collapse of more than 4,000 homes.
In the camps for displaced people in Sudan’s western region of Darfur, where nearly 2 million people are still living according to numbers provided by the Sudanese government, the people anticipate Eid El Adha while hungry.
Hussein Abu Sharatri, the spokesman for the Association of Displaced People and Refugees in Darfur, reported that there have been less food rations distributed – in some cases none for months.
“This Eid comes with the high price increases and reduction of aid provisions, which has made the lives of displaced people unbearable in the camps.” Because of the circumstances, displaced people have stopped thinking about the feast and went out farming for a living.
“Their wish is that peace and stability will a comprehensive peace to the country, so that the displaced people can return to their villages and farms.”
Cash withdrawals limited
A reduction of the maximum amount for cash withdrawals by customers coincides with the increasing need for money with the advent of Eid El Adha. The Central Bank of Sudan (CBoS) issued the order to banks this week. Economic analysts said that the move would increase the suffering of employees and workers who have been forced to deposit their salaries in the banks.
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