Kordofan: Strikes and power cuts as water prices rise in Sudan

The road linking Khartoum and El Obeid in North Kordofan (Photo: Social media)

Medical staff in El Obeid hospitals in North Kordofan entered the fifth day of strikes yesterday, as the city experienced a three-day power cut. Drinking water costs between SDG 3,000 and 4,000 in the capital of North Kordofan. 

The comprehensive strike of medical staff demands financial benefits such as higher salaries, secure contracts, and incentives for doctors. The strike also demands that the state solves the problem of transferring doctors between hospitals and improves the work environment. The medical staff also require the adequate provision of aid and equipment, along with a review of visitation hours and staff rest areas. 

The strike includes emergency and casualty wards, with the exception of kidney, gynaecological, obstetrics, and paediatric wards. 

Power cuts 

Due to a technical malfunction at the Um Dabakir station in White Nile state, electricity supplies in the state, along with North and South Kordofan, were interrupted from Thursday to Sunday afternoon. 

People in El Obeid told Radio Dabanga that the power supply returned on Sunday afternoon and then went out again around midnight. 

They explained that the outage disrupted banks, hospitals, and water supply. The banks resumed their operations on Sunday, under the guidance of the Bank of Sudan and the state security committee. 

Drinking water 

Due to the war in Sudan, drinking water supplies to El Obeid have been under stress for three months. Part of the issue stems from fluctuations in the electricity supply, upon which northern water sources depend.  

People told Radio Dabanga that the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) control of the city’s southern and western water sources has exacerbated the poor supply of water. 

They explained that the western and southern neighbourhoods of the city are the most affected, where they have become dependent on donkey carts to obtain drinking water. 

Sources also reported that an initiative to resolve the crisis by the city’s elders was rejected by the El Obeid security committee. 

Warring parties 

Speaking to Radio Dabanga from the North Kodofan capital, a medic reported that the battles between the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and the RSF in the city resumed early on July 20. 

“Warplanes bombed the parts of the city where the RSF troops are located, and both parties used heavy artillery,” he said. 

The RSF tightened the noose on all entry points of El Obeid in mid-June after they blocked the north-eastern outlet leading to Bara town, completing their siege. El Obeid was already witnessing provision shortages and looting and theft