Torrential Rains Wreak Havoc on Sudan, Damaging Hundreds of Homes
Sudan is grappling with the aftermath of heavy rains that have battered the region in recent days, resulting in over 500 homes being damaged across the northern areas of the country and north of Omdurman city. These developments, reported by state media on Monday, validate concerns expressed by aid organizations about the compounded challenges posed by the rainy season in a nation already ravaged by conflict.
Sudan’s Northern State faced the brunt of shifting weather patterns, with extensive rainfall causing significant damage. According to the state-run SUNA news agency, at least 464 houses have been affected by the rains. Merowe city, located approximately 330 kilometers (210 miles) from the capital, Khartoum, witnessed damage to around 300 houses.
The impact of the downpour extended to Al-Sagai, located about 40 kilometers north of Omdurman, where flooding led to the collapse of numerous houses and the submersion of agricultural areas.
SUNA highlighted the dramatic change in weather for the region, describing it as “a desert area that rarely received rain in the past, but has been witnessing devastating rains for the past five years.”
This tragic situation unfolds against the backdrop of an ongoing brutal conflict between the army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces, which has taken a toll on infrastructure and exacerbated widespread hunger.
Healthcare professionals and aid groups have long sounded the alarm regarding Sudan’s rainy season, which commenced in June. They have raised concerns about the potential for increased adversity, including heightened risks of malnutrition, diseases transmitted by vectors, and further displacement across the nation. The challenge is multifaceted, as the country grapples with the intersection of conflict and environmental factors that pose severe threats to its population.
In regions that have remained difficult for relief missions to reach, the World Health Organization (WHO) has noted the emergence of cholera and measles outbreaks.
Sudan’s healthcare system has been significantly impacted, with over 80 percent of hospitals now non-operational, according to the WHO. The remaining healthcare facilities are confronted with multiple challenges, facing not only limitations in their ability to provide care but also the peril of being targeted and caught in crossfire.
The conflict that ignited in the capital city, Khartoum, on April 15, has led to the internal displacement of over three million individuals, a substantial portion of whom are in urgent need of assistance, as highlighted by the International Organization for Migration.
In addition to internal displacement, nearly a million others have sought refuge across international borders in search of safety. The complex situation on the ground presents significant hurdles for aid organizations, encompassing security concerns, bureaucratic obstacles, and deliberate attacks that hinder the delivery of vital support.
Amidst these challenges, outbreaks of cholera and measles underscore the dire circumstances faced by many in Sudan, necessitating urgent and strategic efforts to address both the immediate health crises and the broader issues that the nation confronts.