Blue Nile floods have swept 15 villages in eastern Sudan's Sennar State and parts of the regional capital Singa, causing millions of dollars in damage, the official SUNA news agency said in Khartoum Wednesday, August 8.
No casualties were reported in the state, according to SUNA, but State Governor Muhamad Hamid Al-Billah said flooding still poses a great threat to the region and appealed for government aid for those left homeless.
A total of 500 houses and a large number of farms were destroyed when sand embankments gave in to the raging Blue Nile, which flows from Lake Tana in Ethiopia where there have been early rains, SUNA reported.
At the weekend, flooding destroyed another 175 houses as well as mosques and health centers in five other villages along the main River Nile in northern Sudan, and the ministry of irrigation has warned of more to come. The Blue Nile joins the White Nile at Khartoum to form the River Nile. Nile waters in Khartoum are at their highest in 20 years, according to the ministry of irrigation.
Billah said the flooding in Sennar state had caused billions of Sudanese pounds (millions of dollars) in damage to houses and farms and appealed to Khartoum to provide medicines and shelter for flood victims.
Farms and banana plantations were inundated by the floodwater, badly damaging crops, Interior Minister Abdul Rahim Muhamad Hussain said after flying in to the area to assess the situation.
Hussain, who is currently in Singa, was quoted by SUNA news agency as saying pumps were made available to pump out the water engulfing the houses and that other relief items were shipped in from Khartoum. He appealed to residents along Sudan's rivers to show caution as water levels are still high and the flood peak, which usually comes in mid-August, is still ahead.
The state's top urban planning official, Hassan Umar Al-Awad, was quoted by SUNA as saying the state authorities have taken measures and formed teams for containing the situation. Awad said youths and students in the state were mobilized to assist in confronting the flooding and to help the affected families.
Egyptian Irrigation Minister Mahmud Abu Zaid meanwhile telephoned his Sudanese counterpart Kamal Ali Muhamed Wednesday to offer assistance in dealing with the floods if required, SUNA reported. Egypt has been diverting as much excess Nile water as possible into the country's canal systems, the state MENA news agency reported in Cairo. ― (AFP, Khartoum)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )