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Rains, floods destroy hundreds of South Darfur homes

August 7 - 2016 KATILA / KALMA CAMP
Kalma camp after heavy rains on 18 July 2015 (RD)
Kalma camp after heavy rains on 18 July 2015 (RD)

Heavy rainfall and floods destroyed hundreds of houses in Katila in South Darfur on Friday. Kalma camp for the displaced near the state capital Nyala has turned into a mud bath.

Abakar El Tom, Deputy Speaker of the South Darfur state parliament and representative of Katila constituency told Radio Dabanga that the floods divided the town into two parts. “Crossing the flood is too dangerous at the moment.”

More than 700 homes collapsed entirely. About 500 houses were partly destroyed. Katila locality offices were damaged too.

“A number of families found shelter in the Abu Bakar Secondary School,” El Tom said. “But most of the affected are now living in the open.”

He appealed to the local authorities and “all the people of Katila” to immediately act, and provide aid to the flood victims.

Catastrophic’

“Because of the continuous rainfall, it is impossible to keep fires going to cook food,” Saleh Eisa, Secretary-General of Kalma camp told Radio Dabanga.

He described the situation in the camp as “catastrophic. The torrential rains that swept Kalma today (Friday) turned the camp into one big pool. Dozens of shelters and a number of school classrooms were destroyed.”

The camp head urged relief organisations to intervene “as soon as possible”.

With more than 160,000 people living in Kalma, it is one of the largest camps for the displaced in Darfur.

Tens of thousands affected

According to the Government of Sudan, the Sudanese Red Crescent Society (SRCS) and partners, 80,175 people have been affected by the heavy rains and flooding across Sudan to date this year. 5,955 houses have been damaged of which 5,492 were entirely destroyed.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported in its latest weekly bulletin that the government-led National Flood Task Force is working with key actors to monitor flooding and responses. Government authorities and local communities are working to respond to the needs arising from heavy rains and flooding.

As in earlier years, the international community may need to respond in some locations and support flood preparedness and response measures in partnership with national actors, stated OCHA.

The rainy season in Sudan is from June to September/October.


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