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Nile levels begin to fall – danger to Sudanese public still acute

September 10 - 2020 KHARTOUM / EL GEDAREF / EL GEZIRA
Cartoon by Omar Defallah for Radio Dabanga
Cartoon by Omar Defallah for Radio Dabanga

At least 105 people have died in floods in Sudan since the beginning of this year’s rainy season. As the Nile, swollen to unprecedented levels over the past days, gradually begins to subside, authorities warn that the danger to the public has not diminished.

Three young women drowned when a boat capsized in El Salam locality, White Nile state this week. The accident occurred when a group of young people attempted to visit Neweila island in the White Nile.

The Director of the state Civil Defence Department, Col Ibrahim El Shoush, has warned the public against using small boats during this period.

In El Gedaref, listener Osman Ali warned of the imminent collapse of the bridge over El Rahad river linking the states of El Gedaref and El Gezira near Khiari due to the floods.

He told Radio Dabanga that the authorities should intervene as soon as possible to strengthen the bridge. Another route should be arranged for lorries and the current route should be limited to private cars and public transport vehicles.

Houses collapse

More than 130 houses collapsed completely in El Bagir village south of Abu Hamed in River Nile state, when a dyke that the public built to protect the village failed in the early hours of Wednesday morning, a villager reported.

Collapsed homes in Abu Hamed, River Nile state (Social media)

 

The levels of the Nile have slowly begun to decline from the record levels of the past days, however the danger to the public and property has not, the Flood Committee of the Ministry of Irrigation and Water Resources reported yesterday.

The ministry also warned that the levels of the White Nile from El Jebelein to the Jebel Awlia reservoir in south-west Khartoum were at their highest levels.

The committee called on the competent authorities and the public to take caution.

The Director of Preventive Medicine at the Khartoum state Ministry of Health, Abdallah Bakheet, has expressed his concern about the period following the floods, breeding sites of mosquitoes, flies, and bacterial viruses that transmit intestinal diseases.

International appeal

The Permanent Mission of Sudan to the UN Office in Geneva, Switzerland, launched an urgent appeal to international relief organisations to assist those affected by the torrents and floods that have struck the country for days.

In Washington, the Sudanese embassy launched an initiative to collect donations for those affected by floods in the various states of Sudan.

Egyptian air bridge

The Egyptian Minister of Health, Dr Hala Zayed, who is currently visiting Sudan, received two aircraft at Khartoum Airport as part of an air bridge, to deliver assistance from the government of Egypt to Sudan for combating the flood disaster.

She told the official Sudan News Agency (SUNA) that the aid bridge is the third air bridge to Sudan, as the first bridge included support to confront coronavirus and the second aid bridge was accompanying to the visit of the Egyptian Prime Minister to Sudan.

She said that the aid air bridge will continue until the disaster of the floods is over, noting that she is leading a medical team of 20 doctors, pharmacists, paramedics, preventive medicine, and nursing, as they are deployed in four teams in four places in the most affected areas in Khartoum state.

Dr Zayed said the air bridge includes medical and food aid and antivenom for scorpions and snakes.

Relief flight from Kuwaiti Red Crescent lands in Khartoum (Supplied)

 

An Emirati relief flight, a contribution from the UAE Red Crescent, has also arrived in Khartoum, carrying medical supplies, food, sanitary, and shelter materials. The Emirates Red Crescent yesterday started distributing the relief items to those affected by the floods in El Gayaa in southern Omdurman.

The Kuwaiti Council of Ministers has also directed the provision of urgent aid to Sudan, and the Kuwait Red Crescent Society launched the Sudan Relief campaign.


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