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Cablegate: Sudan - Nile River Flooding

VZCZCXRO4174
PP RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #2107/01 2471240
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 041240Z SEP 06
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4390
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHRN/USMISSION UN ROME

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KHARTOUM 002107

SIPDIS

AIDAC
SIPDIS

STATE FOR AF/SPG, PRM, AND ALSO PASS USAID/W
USAID FOR DCHA SUDAN TEAM, AFR/SP
NAIROBI FOR USAID/DCHA/OFDA, USAID/REDSO, AND FAS
GENEVA FOR NKYLOH
NAIROBI FOR SFO
NSC FOR JBRAUSE, NSC/AFRICA FOR TSHORTLEY
USUN FOR TMALY
BRUSSELS FOR PLERNER

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID PREF PGOV PHUM SOCI SU
SUBJECT: Sudan - Nile River Flooding

KHARTOUM 00002107 001.2 OF 002


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Summary
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1. Flooding that began in mid-August along the Nile River has
affected more than 100,000 people in the northern, central, and
eastern regions of Sudan. The most severely affected areas include
the towns of Omdurman, Tokar, and Sinnar State. Humanitarian
concerns for flood-affected areas include the spread of acute watery
diarrhea and cholera, availability of safe drinking water, and
shelter. The non-governmental organization (NGO) Sudanese Red
Crescent Society (SRCS) reported that current water levels in the
Blue Nile River are already higher than the 1988 levels that caused
severe flooding in Sudan. End summary.

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Northern Sudan - Khartoum and Omdurman
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2. On August 11 and 12, violent storms in Omdurman town located
approximately seven km north of Khartoum, damaged the makeshift
shelters of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and affected more
than 15,000 IDP households in Omdurman IDP camps and settlements,
according to the Government of National Unity (GNU) Humanitarian Aid
Commission (HAC). NGOs reported that the floods affected 10,000 IDP
families in Es Salaam camp alone. On August 15, USAID staff joined
an inter-agency joint assessment mission to the Omdurman area and
reported that the greatest needs include shelter, sanitation, and
food. USAID partner CARE has ongoing health and nutrition projects
in Es Salaam camp and is currently assessing how to best meet the
needs of the flood-affected population in coordination with other
NGOs and the Khartoum State Government. Other relief agencies have
provided shelter and relief commodities to victims in a coordinated
response led by the Khartoum State Government.

3. USAID staff conducted a follow-up visit to the affected areas on
August 23 and confirmed that distributions of relief supplies and
shelter materials were taking place. However, USAID staff noted
that additional shelter materials were required to meet the needs of
all IDPs in Es Salaam camp and other affected areas.

4. Flooding in the town of Wad Medani, south of Khartoum in Gezira
State, has killed six people and damaged nearby villages, according
to SRCS. The banks of the Blue Nile River could possibly overflow
causing further damage in the town. Local media reported that the
rising waters of the White Nile River destroyed more than 300 houses
in the Kalakla area of Khartoum on August 21.

--------------------------------------------- --------
Eastern and Central Sudan - Sinnar and Red Sea States
--------------------------------------------- --------

5. Rising levels of the Gash and Baraka rivers in eastern Sudan and
the Blue Nile River in several states, especially Sinnar, have
displaced entire villages. As of August 20, the flooding from the
Blue Nile River had killed several people in Sinnar State and
damaged more than 1,600 shelters, according to the GNU HAC. Relief
agencies have established twelve camps to aid people displaced from
60 affected villages in Sinnar, according to SRCS. SRCS has
provided relief assistance to flood-affected areas in Sinnar.
Washed-out roads and bridges have limited access to the flooded
areas.

6. Working with SRCS, the International Federation of the Red Cross
and Red Crescent Societies has appealed for USD 543,000 to provide
relief commodities for 3,000 families and plans to send two response
teams to affected areas.

7. Flooding may have caused a spike in new cases of acute watery
diarrhea, with reports of hundreds of new cases, according to SRCS.
The U.N. Children's Fund has confirmed cases of cholera in Sinnar
State and plans to distribute health kits in cholera-affected areas.
The GNU civil defense distributed more than 1,000 tents in affected
states and is requesting 3,000 additional tents, as well as
blankets, food, generators, and insecticide spraying equipment.

8. In Tokar, located south of Port Sudan in Red Sea State, Oxfam
reported that flooding from the Baraka River and delta has affected
at least 6,000 households. The Sudanese government is trying to
strengthen dikes in the area to avert a greater flooding problem.
NGOs report that in Tokar the greatest humanitarian needs include
shelter materials, sanitation assistance, and the removal of

KHARTOUM 00002107 002.2 OF 002


standing water to reduce the spread of disease. USAID partner
International Rescue Committee has contributed 80 plastic sheets.
Oxfam and the Sudan Sea Ports Corporation are conducting other
relief activities.

9. Authorities in Kassala town located near the Eritrean border,
continue to carefully monitor the flow of the Gash River that
originates in the mountains of Eritrea, which can strengthen rapidly
under heavy rains. Due to heavy rains upstream, the Algash River
rose to high levels during the week of August 14 without causing
serious damage. However, further rains could quickly result in
additional flooding along the river. USAID partner GOAL has stocked
1,000 family relief kits in preparation for future flooding.

--------
Comment
--------

10. USAID staff have observed that in Khartoum, river levels are
high, which could cause widespread flooding in the days ahead.
USAID has conducted two assessments to flood-affected IDP camps and
settlements in Khartoum State and continues to monitor river levels.
USAID staff have coordinated and planned contingency responses with
NGO partners in the event that GNU agencies and other local agencies
do not have the capacity to respond adequately to this flooding.

HUME

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