Positive Environment News

Sudan Floods Death Toll Hits 131, More Rain Expected

Date: 13-Sep-07
Country: SUDAN

The floods have cut off many villages and made at least
200,000 people homeless and more flooding may be on the way, the
United Nations said.

"131 people have died," Hamadallah Adam Ali, the head of
Sudan's civil defence authority, said.

The flooding has been most severe in regions where the Nile
broke its banks after heavy rains, he added.

In a statement seen by Reuters on Wednesday, the United
Nations warned of more rain.

"The flood situation remains critical. The early warning and
emergency information centre predicts further heavy rainfall and
the risk of flash floods," the UN Office for the Coordination
of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said.

"Access to affected areas for assessments and response
continues to be difficult with roads becoming inundated and
damaged and airstrips frequently not landable by fixed wing
planes," the statement added.

Ali said the government has used tractors to carry aid
across heavily flooded fields, as well as boats and helicopters
to reach villages isolated by the deluge.

Justin Bagirishya, head of the south Sudan office of the
World Food Programme (WFP), said some 16,000 people in remote
villages in south Sudan have no access to humanitarian aid and
need immediate assistance.

"They are cut off completely. There are no usable roads or
airstrips," he told Reuters.

OCHA said 770 affected families from one town in south Sudan
are now camped on the town's airstrip to escape the waters.

It said UN and other humanitarian agencies have used boats
to deliver food and medical supplies and plastic sheeting to a
number of hard-hit areas in south Sudan.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) told Reuters some 1,281
people have fallen ill with acute watery diarrhoea (AWD) since
an outbreak in April. Sixty-one people have died.

© Thomson Reuters 2007 All rights reserved

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