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Extreme weather causes damage, tensions in Sudan

October 2 - 2015 EL GEDAREF
Farmer in Dongolo, Sudan's Northern state (TheNiles)
Farmer in Dongolo, Sudan's Northern state (TheNiles)

A water shortage has led to frictions between farmers and pastoralists in El Gedaref state. Torrential rains and strong winds have caused injuries to a number of people and damaged 50 houses near Ed El Fursan in South Darfur on Tuesday.

A witness from west of Ed El Fursan, in the area of El Asil, told Radio Dabanga that 50 houses and their contents were destroyed by the rainds and winds. “The total losses from the destruction can amount to about SDG50,000 ($8,120).” He appealed to the government authorities and humanitarian organisations to help the affected people.

Livestock owners in El Gedaref state, eastern Sudan, complain about an acute shortage of water and a shortage of pastures in El Butana area as a result of the drought-like conditions that have hit the region.

The Commissioner of El Butana locality, Osman Mohamed Ahmed El Duj, said that 60,000 heads of cattle have been moved away from El Butana's pastures because the water sources and reservoirs dried up.

He added that frictions and disputes between farmers and pastoralists in El Husheib and El Adedat areas emerged. The locality was prompted to intervene, he explained, and deployed security patrols in order to reduce the friction, and protect the pastures and agricultural lands.

The Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS Net) mentioned El Gedaref as an area with rainfall well below average in its August report. In the southern part of the state, however, heavy rains resulted in the death of at least ten people when their houses collapsed on 9 August.

Sudan's rainfall shortage

Poor crop growth and pasture conditions caused by rainfall shortage in key agricultural areas in Sudan have caused an increased risk of food and nutrition insecurity, according the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Food insecurity will occur in particular among small-scale farmers and pastoralists who make up the bulk of Sudan’s rural poor, FAO wrote in a press statement on Tuesday.

It recently completed an assessment of crop performance and growth and livestock health in Sudan’s key rain-fed agricultural areas. The below-average rainfall has resulted in delayed planting, poor crop growth and pasture conditions in many regions, with increased risk of crop failures and low production surpluses anticipated for the 2015/2016 harvest period.

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