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Sudan: Acute bread shortage enters third week

September 7 - 2017 EL GEDAREF / KASSALA
File photo
File photo

People across eastern Sudan must still queue for hours to buy bread, with little prospect of the crisis abating in the short-term.

The bread crisis in El Gedaref has entered its third week without any solution from the state government. A resident, who complained of long queues in front of bakeries, attributed the crisis to the state government’s halving of flour supplies to the bakeries.

He explained that there was a brief respite when the state government provided quantities of flour during Eid Al Adha (the Muslim Feast of Sacrifice) but the crisis has returned again since Tuesday.

Chamber of Commerce

In press statement, the Secretary-General of the Chamber of Commerce, Awad Abdelrahman, held the Ministry of Finance in the state responsible for the bread shortage because of its non-commitment to distribute the quota of flour to the bakeries in the state. Abdelrahman confirmed the reduction in quotas by 50 per cent.

He pointed out that the Ministry of Finance imposed different prices on flour: a 50kg sack from the strategic stores costs SDG150 ($22.46), while other companies charge SDG193 ($29) for a sack of the same weight.

Minister of Finance

The Minister of Finance and Economy of El Gedaref, Omar Mohamed Nur, attributed the crisis to the alleged sale of quantities of flour by owners of bakeries to traders in the markets.

He pointed out that his Ministry detected a number of health violations and a reduction in the weight of bread after a campaign of checks was carried out by the authorities on a number of bakeries in the state.

He said: “The weights of bread in all bakeries in the state did not exceed 50 grams which is contrary to the required weight of 70 grams.”

Kassala

On Wednesday a number of districts of Kassala in eastern Sudan also witnessed a bread shortage.

A resident told Radio Dabanga that number of bakeries in Banat, Halanga, Mastura, and Borno districts were closed owing to a lack of flour.

Port Sudan

A number of districts of Port Sudan in Red Sea state have witnessed total disruption of water services for more than 10 days: the price of water from carts has risen sharply.

Journalist Osman Hashim told Radio Dabanga that parts of El Sawra, Hadal and Deim El Nur, El Mirghaniya, El Matar, and Teranseet districts in Port Sudan have suffered from an interruption of water services despite the availability of the water supply network.

He pointed to the availability of water in the reservoir of Arbaat Dam which feeds the city and expected problems in the distribution network.


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