This year's rainy season led to disaster when the Bout Dam collapsed during the annual Eid-al-Adha festivities in Sudan.
The city of Bout, in the southeastern NIlo Azul province, was severely hit by heavy rains and floods in late July. In the city of almost 100,000 people, more than 1,200 houses were destroyed, according to statistics from the Sudanese Crescent Society. Thousands were displaced and many were left without access to clean water.
No government in Sudan's history has been able to solve the humanitarian disasters posed by annual floods, which inevitably lead to chronic destruction and loss of life.
More than 120 houses in the nearby town of Wad Abuk were also destroyed. Until almost mid-August, teams at the site worked to help people in Bout and Wad Abuk.
According to the Sudanese Crescent Society, at least four people were killed, 75 houses were totally destroyed and 280 houses were badly affected in the town of Abu-Hamad, in northern Sudan.
The East Nile area, a sub-city within Khartoum, also continues to experience severe flooding. At the beginning of August, neither cars nor people could cross the area and the only way to save lives is with boats.
The rescued people are spending the night beside the roads in tents provided by civil defense, the Sudanese Red Crescent and some non-governmental organizations.
The crisis has been complicated by the lack of planning of the Khartoum authorities.
Every year in Sudan, heavy rains led to severe flooding throughout the country, including the country's capital, Khartoum. Citizens suffer from floods, which destroy property and leave death in their wake. Recovery drains the country's limited financial and human resources.
People are often left to their own devices:
A woman repairs damages to her house, after torrential rain lead to landslides and flash floods, in the town of Umm Dawan Ban, near Khartoum, Sudan, on Aug. 2, 2020. pic.twitter.com/68a7Ure8sT
– Shanthi Fonseka (@ GLSFonseka1) August 5, 2020
A woman repairs damage to her home after torrential rains led to landslides and floods in the city of Umm Dawan Ban, near Khartoum, Sudan, August 2, 2020.
'Call for mobilization'
The Nafeer youth initiative responded quickly to the humanitarian crisis caused by the rains and floods that hit Sudan. The term nafeer It is a Sudanese social tradition that comes from an Arabic word that means “call for mobilization” to help people in crisis.
On August 2, the group announced a call for all volunteers to a meeting on August 4 to discuss a crisis plan. The governor of Khartoum joined the meeting to support them with government resources.
Abdallah Hamdok, the Prime Minister of Sudan, wrote a thread on Twitter detailing all the ways the government is prepared to face the rainy season and highlighted that this rain has been the strongest in 30 years:
اجتمعت اليوم بمقر رئاسة مجلس الوزراء بالسيدات والسادة وزراء كل من شؤون مجلس الوزراء, الداخلية, المالية, العمل والتنمية الاجتماعية, الري والموارد المائية, ووالي ولاية الخرطوم والسيد الأمين العام للمجلس القومي للدفاع المدني, وذلك لنقاش تنفيذ خطة الاستعداد للخريف المعدة مسبقا. pic.twitter.com/Ot3iKz52Ho
– Abdalla Hamdok (@SudanPMHamdok) August 4, 2020
I met at the headquarters of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, ladies and gentlemen, Ministers of Affairs of the Council of Ministers, the Interior, Finance, Social Development, Irrigation and Water Resources, the Governor of the State of Khartoum and the Mr. Secretary General of the National Civil Defense Council, to analyze the application of the plan prepared for the rainy season.
He opened a thread on Twitter:
Tuitt 2: At the meeting it was decided to alleviate the urgent needs of shelter for those affected by the rains of the previous days. We also decided to assign all the machines that have been restored through the committee to work on treating the effects of the rainy season.
Tweet 3: We have issued a directive to all states to form committees to deal with the emergencies of the rainy season headed by the governor, as long as the National Civil Defense Council continues to coordinate centrally and establishes a media platform to have information and publish weather forecasts and actions taken by the council.
Tweet 4: We also entrusted the Ministry of Labor and Social Development to approach international agencies and organizations to coordinate the response to the emergency of the rainy season, and we also decided to entrust the Ministry of Health to prepare for the accompanying epidemics to the rainy season and launch a vaccination campaign against cholera to avoid any possible epidemic outbreak.
Tweet 5: Rain forecasts indicate that we will face an unprecedented rainy season in the last 30 years, and there are emergency measures to avoid the effects of long-term treatments to solve urban planning problems and ensure safety of citizens and their properties.
Tweet 6: I present my great appreciation and pride for the active role that popular organizations, resistance committees and civil society activities initiated, to move quickly to prevent the effects of the fall as a role that evokes authentic Sudanese values of social solidarity and the activation of the values of collective action on the road to construction and reconstruction.
Tweet 7: We will go hand in hand to take advantage of all the capacities and efforts, and the benefits of the rainy season and avoid its negative effects on the citizens of all parts of the country. May God save Sudan and the people of Sudan ..
A future without flood crises requires planning to house the displaced who live along the flood routes. Sudan must also implement plans that benefit from rainwater storage and other ecological measures.