By Marwa Mahmoud
After the flood disaster that struck Sudan and forced the government to declare a state of emergency for a period of 3 months, an expert in natural resources affairs in Africa revealed what Khartoum should do to alleviate the current crisis, and reduce the chances of recurring the devastating effects of floods in the future.
The head of the natural resources department at the Institute for Research and African Studies, Abash Sharraqi, told “Sky News Arabia” that floods are a frequent occurrence in Sudan, but this year they have crossed the normal limit.
Sharaki indicated that there were indications months ago that Sudan would be exposed to a more severe wave of floods than usual, after heavy rains fell in the equatorial region last May, and the water level in Lake Victoria reached the highest rate in history.
The expert said: “Often followed by heavy rains in the equatorial region, other heavy rains on Sudan and Ethiopia.”
He continued, “To mitigate the devastating effects of the floods, Sudan needs some equipment to open roads and save people isolated by the water.”
In explaining how to avoid repetition of these damages in the future, he added that Sudan needs to “build bridges to internal tributaries and rivers to prevent further floods, build small dams to store part of flood water, and also cleanse and develop some rivers such as the shallow White Nile, which needs deepening to accommodate larger quantities.” From water. “
Sharaqi also recommended “clearing the headwaters of the torrents so that the water can pass smoothly and easily into waterways, such as the Blue Nile and the White Nile,” without the lands being flooded.
The expert said, “Sudan is in a disaster, and we must all stand by it, especially the Arab countries.”
He talked about the negative effects of floods on the environment, saying: “Flooding of agricultural lands kills plants as a result of large quantities of water and their strong rush,” and he also warned against the spread of “water-related diseases such as malaria, dysentery and hepatitis B,” adding that “the deaths of animals are in thousands. “
On Saturday, the Sudanese Interior Ministry declared in a statement a state of emergency for a period of 3 months, due to the record rates of rain and floods this year, which caused at least 100 deaths and the displacement of hundreds of thousands of people.
In a statement posted on its Twitter account, the ministry said that after “all readings confirmed that the rates of floods and rains this year exceeded the records (…) a state of emergency was declared all over the country for a period of 3 months.”
The statement indicated that Sudan was considered a “natural disaster zone”, and a “supreme committee was formed to prevent and address the effects of the fall.”
On Friday evening, the Sudanese News Agency (SUNA) quoted the statements of the Minister of Labor and Social Development, Lina Al-Sheikh, about the size of the losses caused by the floods.
The sheikh said, according to “SUNA”, that the damage resulted in “the death of 99 citizens, wounding of 46 others, affecting more than half a million people, and the total and partial collapse of more than 100 thousand homes.”
According to official data in Sudan, the rates of floods and rains for 2020 exceeded the records set during 1988 and 1946.
The Ministry of Water and Irrigation said recently that the level of the Blue Nile rose to 17.57 meters, describing it as “a historical level since the monitoring of the river began in 1902.”