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Cablegate: Sudan - Flood Response in Northern Sudan

VZCZCXRO0832
PP RUEHGI RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #1086/01 1931505
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 121505Z JUL 07
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7852
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHRN/USMISSION UN ROME

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KHARTOUM 001086

SIPDIS

AIDAC
SIPDIS

STATE FOR AF/SPG, PRM, AND ALSO PASS USAID/W
USAID FOR DCHA HESS, DLILLIE, JMAYER, AND AFR/SP
NAIROBI FOR USAID/DCHA/OFDA, USAID/REDSO, AND FAS
GENEVA FOR NKYLOH
NAIROBI FOR SFO
NSC FOR PMARCHAM, MMAGAN, AND TSHORTLEY
ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU
USUN FOR TMALY
BRUSSELS FOR PLERNER

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID PREF PGOV PHUM SOCI UN SU
SUBJECT: SUDAN - FLOOD RESPONSE IN NORTHERN SUDAN


KHARTOUM 00001086 001.2 OF 002


1. Summary: In July, unseasonably heavy rains and subsequent
flooding have affected more than 28,000 households in Khartoum,
Northern Kordofan, White Nile, Kassala, and Blue Nile states in
northern Sudan, according to Sudanese government officials and
humanitarian organizations. Government agencies are coordinating
with the humanitarian community and have formed state-level
emergency committees to organize the humanitarian response. To
date, these agencies are working to meet needs, which have not
surpassed current stocks and capacity to respond. USAID and
partners are monitoring the situation and are prepared to mobilize
rapidly to provide additional assistance if necessary. End summary.

--------------------------------------------- --
GOVERNMENT AND HUMANITARIAN AGENCIES RESPONDING
--------------------------------------------- --

2. Heavy rains since July 7 have affected 10,900 households in the
Khartoum area, according to USAID and non-governmental organizations
(NGOs). On July 11, teams of USAID, U.N., NGO, and Khartoum State
representatives assessed rain-related damage in Jebel Aulia and Mayo
internally displaced person (IDP) camps and the Omdawaban and Elafon
neighborhoods of Khartoum. In Jebel Aulia, approximately 5,200
households were affected; in Mayo, approximately 1,250 households
were affected; and on the eastern bank of the Blue Nile River in
Omdawaban and Elafon, 4,450 households were affected. Needs vary by
area and include shelter materials, mosquito nets, blankets, food,
and anti-malarial medication. In Omdawaban and Elafon, Sudanese
Civil Defense has provided 300 tents, 9 metric tons (MT) of sorghum,
and additional food commodities valued at USD 10,000. USAID and
partners are awaiting the final results of the July 11 assessment to
determine whether to provide additional assistance. USAID partner
CARE is prepared to provide emergency food commodities.
Additionally, in coordination with the U.N. Children's Fund (UNICEF)
and the U.N. Joint Logistics Center (UNJLC), CARE is preparing to
provide relief supplies in Jebel Aulia and Mayo IDP camps.

3. In Northern Kordofan State, conflicting reports indicate varying
levels of damage in six locations: Shieken, Um Rwaba, Sodari,
En-Nihud, Bara, and Gabrat el Shiekh. A U.N. report states that 648
houses are destroyed and 700 others are damaged; however, the same
report states that more than 12,000 households are affected. The
federal and state governments have provided 1,000 plastic sheets,
100 tents, 500 blankets, and 1,000 sacks of sorghum in each of the
six locations, the U.N. reported. As the Northern Kordofan capital,
El Obeid, is a key logistical hub for the country's relief
operation, many supplies including food aid commodities are
available within the state.

4. In White Nile State, USAID partner Adventist Development and
Relief Agency (ADRA) reported that nearly 1,600 houses have been
destroyed and nearly 1,000 additional households have sustained
damage in Rabak, Kosti, and Tendelti towns due to heavy rains since
June 30. ADRA, other humanitarian agencies, and the Government of
National Unity's (GNU) Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC) are
providing household supplies, food, and shelter materials to 1,000
affected families in the state. The U.N. World Food Program (WFP)
is prepared to provide assistance pending completion of a second
assessment in the area. USAID staff report that these agencies
appear to be adequately meeting the needs of the flood-affected
population in White Nile State.

5. In Kassala State, heavy rains and flooding since July 5 have
affected approximately 3,560 households, according to USAID
partners. The most affected area is Aroma town, 50 km north of
Kassala town, according to the U.N. Resident Coordinator's Office.
An interagency assessment on July 11 and 12 found the town severely
damaged, and a slow government response coupled with continued rains
in this rural area has raised possibility of a relocation of all
8,000 town residents. As an interim measure, the NGO GOAL has
distributed 1,000 plastic sheets, 1,500 water containers, and 3,000
sandbags to families in Aroma. USAID partner the International
Rescue Committee reported that 1,680 homes were damaged or destroyed
in Kassala town, and 274 homes were destroyed in rural areas,
including 237 in Togli village. GOAL has distributed plastic
sheeting and relief supplies to 150 households in Kassala town.
UNICEF is replenishing supplies in its Kassala warehouse to respond
to additional needs in the state. WFP is providing a 15-day
emergency ration to affected families in rural areas and conducting
an assessment to determine additional needs.

KHARTOUM 00001086 002.2 OF 002

6. In Blue Nile State, heavy rains have affected 1,355 households
in Tadamon and Geissan towns, according to U.N. agencies.
Government and humanitarian organizations have provided food aid,
supplies, and 3,000 insecticide-treated mosquito nets to affected
families. The U.N. Mission in Sudan is providing a helicopter for
aerial assessments on July 13, as poor road conditions do not permit
overland travel to affected areas of the state.

-------
OUTLOOK
-------

7. Intensive rainfall between 50 and 175 millimeters in the
Ethiopian and Eritrean highlands and projected heavy rains in
Gedaref and Kassala states in the coming days are expected to cause
the level of the Gash River to rise, potentially affecting Kassala
town and Tokar, Red Sea State. As of July 10, the Blue Nile water
level was 1.75 meters below flooding level in Khartoum, according to
the GNU HAC. Government officials are concerned because the Blue
Nile River is currently above the water level recorded on the same
dates in 1988, when devastating floods occurred.

8. U.N. and NGO partners report that the government and
humanitarian community are currently meeting needs. The GNU HAC is
issuing a regular Flood Watch Update and has requested a coordinated
humanitarian response throughout the rainy season, which typically
lasts until September in northern Sudan. State-level committees are
meeting to ensure a coordinated response at the local level. USAID
is monitoring the situation and is prepared to respond should
additional assistance be necessary.

FERNANDEZ

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