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Cablegate: Sudan Flooding Update

VZCZCXRO1620
PP RUEHGI RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #1210/01 2171226
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 051226Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8084
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHRN/USMISSION UN ROME

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KHARTOUM 001210

SIPDIS

AIDAC
SIPDIS

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

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID PREF PGOV PHUM SOCI UN SU
SUBJECT: SUDAN FLOODING UPDATE

KHARTOUM 00001210 001.2 OF 002

1. Summary. The Government of National Unity (GNU), Government of
South Sudan (GOSS), and humanitarian community continue to respond
to flooding that has affected hundreds of thousands of people
throughout Sudan in July. The GNU Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC)
estimates that flooding has damaged or destroyed 50,000 homes
countrywide. The situation is expected to worsen as the rainy
season continues in August and September. The most affected states
to date are Khartoum, Northern Kordofan, and Kassala; however, new
preliminary reports suggest that damage in parts of Southern Sudan
may be equally as extensive. The most urgent need in northern and
eastern Sudan is shelter, as rains and flooding have washed away
tens of thousands of mud-brick homes. The needs remain unclear in
Southern Sudan, where assessment teams are still collecting
information. As a first step in response, USAID's Office of U.S.
Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) is sending two airlifts to
Khartoum with a total of 1,300 rolls of plastic sheeting - enough to
provide shelter for 78,000 individuals. The U.N. is tapping into
two emergency funding mechanisms and may issue a flash appeal.
USAID will consider additional assistance as the situation unfolds
and needs are identified. End summary.

-------------------------------
Northern Sudan Situation Update
-------------------------------

2. The U.N. Resident Coordinator's Office is leading northern Sudan
humanitarian planning efforts at the national level, with GNU
participation. At the state level, USAID partners, U.N. agencies,
and other NGOs report good collaboration with local officials,
strong government leadership, and few bureaucratic impediments to
access. (Note: Sudanese Military Intelligence recently denied a
USAID team permission to visit flood-affected areas in Kassala
State. End note.) The GNU has declared some flood-affected states
disaster areas, a distinction that allows NGOs to obtain documents
under the "fast-track" procedures initially developed for Darfur;
the non-governmental organization (NGO) Oxfam recently received an
entry visa for Red Sea State within the 48-hour limit described in
the guidelines.

3. The U.N. sector leads are still compiling information from NGOs
regarding efforts to date and plans for additional activities. The
U.N. Children's Fund (UNICEF), the U.N. Joint Logistics Center
(UNJLC), and the NGO CARE International have provided NGOs supplies
such as plastic sheeting, sleeping mats, blankets, mosquito nets,
cooking sets, and water containers through the common pipeline
system. NGOs have distributed the supplies to more than 192,000
people countrywide. To address water, sanitation, and hygiene
needs, UNICEF has tankered water to 10,000 people and plans to
provide water for 100,000 more. UNICEF has chlorinated water
sources for 500,000 individuals and plans to chlorinate the water
supply of an additional 500,000 people. The U.N. World Health
Organization (WHO) is focusing on stocking medicines, providing
human resources, controlling vectors, and preventing the spread of
water-borne illnesses. WHO has launched a countrywide media
campaign to increase public awareness of potential disease outbreaks
associated with flooding. WHO reports that flood-affected
populations have little or no access to health care facilities Jebel
Aulia IDP camp in Khartoum, and parts of eastern Sudan and Northern
Kordofan State. The U.N. World Food Program (WFP) has assisted
40,000 flood-affected individuals in White Nile, Northern Kordofan,
and Kassala states.

4. On July 22, U.S. Charge d'Affaires (CDA) Fernandez and USAID
staff traveled to El Obeid, Northern Kordofan State, to visit
flood-affected areas and review response efforts. Flooding resulted
in the deaths of 9 people and injury to 42 others, according to
state officials. More than 4,000 homes were destroyed, and 9,000
households, or approximately 57,000 people, were affected. Local
officials and NGOs visited three affected areas of El Obeid town
with the USAID team and CDA. The state government and NGOs have
formed an emergency committee to provide assistance, including food,
plastic sheeting, sandbags, tents, and USAID-funded relief supplies.
WHO reported that the number of suspected malaria cases rose from
2,855 during the first week of July to 3,820 during the week of July
20. The Sudanese Red Crescent Society, which has opened three
mobile clinics in the state, reported rises in diarrheal diseases,
acute respiratory infection, food poisoning, typhoid, and
conjunctivitis.

5. Heavy rains and flooding significantly damaged homes in Kassala
and Khartoum states. Efforts are underway to assist approximately

KHARTOUM 00001210 002.2 OF 002


118,000 people in both locations. Of additional concern is Tokar
town, located in a delta of the Baraka River in Red Sea State.
Tokar is situated below the river's water level, and is typically
linked to the rest of Sudan by roads that are now impassible due to
floods. Approximately 42,000 individuals are now inaccessible, and
government agencies are racing to build barriers to prevent the
entire town from submersion. The Red Sea State Government has been
planning the relocation of the entire town for some time, fearing
this situation. However, infrastructure in the town's new location
is insufficient to accommodate the move at this time.

-------------------------------
Southern Sudan Situation Update
-------------------------------

6. On July 20, the GOSS declared disasters in Upper Nile, Jonglei,
Unity, Northern Bahr el Ghazal, Lakes, and Warrap state due to
flooding. As many as 12,000 homes may be damaged or destroyed,
according to initial NGO and government reports. The preliminary
information available suggests that eastern Upper Nile State and
Unity State are the most-affected areas. Assessments are still
underway, and the humanitarian community is in the process of
consolidating and evaluating information before determining a
collective plan of action. The GOSS and the U.N. are leading
efforts to coordinate assistance.

7. USAID/OFDA is collecting information from NGO partners, U.N.
agencies, and the GOSS. USAID will provide more detailed reporting
on the situation in the coming week, as reliable estimates of
damage, needs, and gaps become available.

------------------------------
USG and International Response
------------------------------
8. Many existing USAID partners are responding to the floods
throughout Sudan. Due to a lack of available plastic sheeting,
USAID/OFDA is providing in-kind donations of plastic sheeting valued
at USD 604,000 to UNICEF and the Non-Food Item (NFI) Common
Pipeline. The plastic sheeting is scheduled to arrive on airlifts
on August 8 and 9, pending GNU clearances. The USAID team in Juba,
Southern Sudan, is analyzing needs and possible assistance options.
USAID is prepared to respond quickly in Southern Sudan once needs
are known.
9. The humanitarian community is relying on multiple mechanisms to
fund flood-response efforts. The U.N. Humanitarian Coordinator for
Sudan has allocated USD 4.87 million from the U.N. Common
Humanitarian Fund for Sudan to cover immediate needs. Additionally,
the humanitarian community is requesting USD 11.5 million from the
global U.N. Central Emergency Response Fund for activities
addressing two- to-three-month needs. The U.N. also plans to issue
a flash appeal, the amount of which is presently unknown. The NFI
Common Pipeline is issuing a separate appeal for USD 3.5 million;
the USD 604,000 in USAID funding falls under this appeal. In
addition, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent
Societies launched an appeal for USD 1.6 million in early July, and
NGOs are issuing separate appeals for their operations.
FERNANDEZ

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