Sudan: We lost everything in the floods

Published: 4 September 2013 13:18 CET

By Wasilla Abdelgadir, Sudanese Red Crescent, and Nelly Muluka, IFRC

For almost one month, 31-year-old Hawa Hassan Ibrahim and her 38-year-old husband Mather Adam Mohammed, together with their seven children, have been living in the Alraiah Alaraki camp in the locality of Um Elgora in Gezira State.

They were forced from their home after it collapsed after floods hit several states in Sudan in early August. The flash floods killed at least 36 people, displaced families and destroyed large swathes of farmland and property.

“We were asleep when the water came. We quickly got out of the house, but were not lucky to save any of our things because it was very dangerous and the water was flowing rapidly. We stayed in the open air and waited for help,” says Hawa Ibrahim.

“We lost everything including furniture, clothes, utensils and food. We also lost a donkey and two goats, the only animals that we owned,” adds her husband. “My crops were washed away from the fields. Now, we have to rely on my wife to sell sandwiches for us to get some income.”

But hope is not lost for this family. Mather is grateful that the locality authorities, in collaboration with the Sudanese Red Crescent and other partners, have given them support. They have been evacuated to higher ground where a camp has been set up and equipped with a school, a temporary health facility, and water and sanitation facilities.

“We are so grateful for this support. We also thank God that the children were on school holidays. Even though the buildings collapsed, they will soon have a new school here in the camp where they can continue learning when schools re-open,” says Mather, who hopes that more blankets and mosquito nets can be given to families in desperate need of them.

“We have 757 households residing here at the moment,” says Noor Eldaim Gudil, the officer in charge of the camp. “We have built 80 latrines and the construction of a temporary school is ongoing.

The surrounding community has generously donated tents to accommodate as many families as possible. However, the items are old and will not withstand the harsh weather conditions.

“The camp layout is ideal and the number of people coming here is increasing. We are only worried about the material used for the tents. We are requesting donors assist with better quality tents since these ones may last only for about one month,” says Noor.

So far, the Sudanese Red Crescent, in collaboration with other partners, has distributed relief items and chlorine tablets, and provided first aid, emergency health services and health education through its mobile and temporary clinics in Khartoum, Gezira, Blue Nile, River Nile, White Nile and Northern states.

An assessment by the Sudanese Red Crescent indicates that at least 63,804 households have been affected by the flash floods across 12 of Sudan’s states.