Sudan floods leave trail of death, destruction

Around 6,000 homes were destroyed by the deluge, according to official statistics.

Sudan floods leave trail of death, destruction

World Bulletin / News Desk

Mohamed Saleh invested ten years of his life and limited resources building a new family house in Salha, one of the largest districts in the Sudanese capital Khartoum.

They moved to the house only last week, after the end of the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan.

"It was a dream come true after ten long years," Saleh told Anadolu Agency.

But the joy was short-lived.

Three days later the home was destroyed by flash floods that swept Sudan displacing tens of thousands of people.

Around 6000 homes were destroyed by the deluge, according to official statistics.

As many as 21 people were killed in the eastern and western districts of Khartoum alone.

Low preparedness

Saleh, like most Sudanese, blame the government for poor preparedness and pathetic sewage network.

"There is no sewage network in Sudan to speak of," fumed Saleh, who works for a private company in the morning and drive a cab in the evenings.

"We only have channels that are dug out in the ground to drain the water," he said.

Saleh insisted that these channels are the least capable of draining rains, let along flash floods.

His neighbor Abdullah al-Hussein also vented his anger at the government.

"Can these channels be called a sewage network?" he asked.

Al-Hussein said Khartoum Governor Abdel-Rahman Khedr keeps bragging about his city's flood preparedness every year, but soon people discovered this was mere hot air.

Khedr had to cut short a visit to Salha after locals had launched into a tirade of criticism against him and his administration.

A female resident of the capital recalled that days before the floods had inundated their homes the government had boasted about allocating some $1.6 million to counter the expected flash floods.

"It seems the money had lost its way into the jungle of cement," the resident said sarcastically.

Sudanese citizens used the expression "jungle of cement" to refer to the luxurious palaces of government officials and political elite.

Health Risks

Saleh stood helplessly near the rubble of his destroyed dream home looking in pain as a woman took pains to scare away a mosquito hunting her little baby.

Apart from the destruction of their homes, the residents of the inundated areas face the prospect of disease outbreak because of an infestation of flies and mosquitos.

Environmental health expert Mohamed Abdullah, for his part, warned against potential deterioration in health conditions across affected areas.

"The flood waters inside residential areas make them fertile ground for insects and mosquitos," he told AA.

"These insects and mosquitos can easily transmit dangerous diseases, such as typhoid and malaria," cautioned Abdullah.

He said these infectious diseases can trigger major health problems across the whole of Sudan.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 05 Ağustos 2014, 10:03