Floods claim 102 lives in Sudan, displace 217,000 Ethiopians

Tuesday September 15 2020

Lena el-Sheikh Omer Majhoub (L), Sudan's Minister of Labour and Social Development and head of the committee tackling the ramifications of the recent floods. Sudan in September declared a nationwide three-month state of emergency after record-breaking torrential floods. AFP PHOTO


The number of people affected by flooding in Sudan has jumped by 160,000 in just four days to nearly 720,000 with the number of flood-related deaths at 102, UN humanitarians said on Monday.

More than 71,000 homes have been destroyed, another 72,000 damaged and more than 3,300 livestock killed, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said. The government, UN agencies and non-governmental organizations have reached about 200,000 people with health, food and other assistance, OCHA said.

The Intergovernmental Authority on Development weather center has issued heavy rain and flooding alerts up to Tuesday, although monitoring stations on the Blue Nile River recorded a decrease of 3 mm in water levels over the weekend. The Humanitarian Response Plan for Sudan this year is seeking 1.6 billion U.S. dollars but is less than 45 percent funded.

Meanwhile, Around 217,000 Ethiopians have been displaced by the worst floods in several decades, an Ethiopian minister has said.

Speaking to Xinhua, Muferiat Kamil, Ethiopia Minister of Peace, said various parts of Ethiopia in recent weeks have experienced floods caused by rainfall levels that haven't been seen for more than 30 years. Kamil said the floods which in some areas have been the most damaging in more than a century have displaced 217,000 people and affected another 363,000 people. "These floods have affected hundreds of thousands of people living in 23 zones of five regional states, causing immense damage to private and public properties," Kamil said on Monday.


The five Ethiopian regional states affected by recent floods are Gambella, Southern, Afar, Oromia and Amhara. "We were for the most part able to prevent severe damages that could have been caused by the floods. However, in some other areas the damage was greater than anticipated," Muferiat told Xinhua.

On Monday, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), said some 15.1 million Ethiopians affected by various disasters including floods, COVID-19 disease, desert locust invasion and man-made disasters are in need of food and non-food assistance.

UNOCHA said a total of $1.44 billion is needed to meet the humanitarian needs of 15.1 million Ethiopians. However, UNOCHA said it is struggling with lack of funds to meet the humanitarian needs of millions of Ethiopians. "Some 15.1 million people are targeted with emergency food and non-food assistance with funding requirements of $1.44 billion. "However, the 2020 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) is at its lowest funding level in at least a decade, with currently a gap of $929.6 million U.S. dollars," said the UNOCHA report.