KHARTOUM: More than 100 people have been killed and tens of thousands of homes destroyed by flooding caused by torrential rain since Sudan’s wet season began in May, police said on Sunday.

Heavy rains usually fall in Sudan between May and October, and the country faces severe flooding every year, wrecking property, infrastructure and crops.

Last month, Sudan declared a state of emergency due to floods in six states.

“The number of people killed by floods and heavy rains has reached 112,” said Abdel Jalil Abdelreheem, spokesman for Sudan’s National Council for Civil Defence, a unit of the police.

The authorities had previously in late August given a figure of 79 dead from flooding so far this wet season.

“A total of 34,944 houses were completely destroyed while 49,060 were partially damaged,” Abdelreheem said, adding that around 115 people had been injured.

The crisis comes as Sudan reels from deepening political unrest and a spiralling economic crisis exacerbated by last year’s military coup led by army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan.

The United Nations, citing government figures, said a week ago that the floods have so far affected 226,000 people across Sudan.

The eastern states of Gedaref and Kassala, North and South Kordofan state, River Nile state, and the Darfur region were among the most badly affected, according to the UN children’s agency, Unicef.

The UN also warned that flooding this year could affect up to 460,000 people — far higher than the average 388,600 people affected annually between 2017 and 2021.

Published in Dawn, September 5th, 2022

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