Devastating Floods in Darfur: A Call for International Assistance

Darfur Women Action Group (DWAG) is saddened to announce that earlier last week, heavy rain and flash floods have severely damaged homes and displaced people in areas including Khartoum, Blue Nile, and Darfur. Floods have killed at least 6 people, destroyed over 3,000 houses, and damaged property on an unimaginable level. News sources and local sources have furthermore confirmed today that Kabkabiya, North Darfur, the hometown of DWAG’s president, is one of the areas most affected by the crisis.

In Kabkabiya, over 500 homes have been destroyed by the rain with almost another 5,000 severely damaged. Those who have escaped the flooding are now taking shelter in schools and other people’s intact homes. Many more people are still missing, and their relatives are still searching for them. The five camps for internally displaced people (IDP’s) have been especially hard-hit by the disaster, with another 2,600 IDP shelters destroyed and over 13,000 damaged across all camps. All are in urgent need of assistance.

The UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) released an update last Tuesday highlighting the severity of the damage caused by the flash floods. According to the update, government and aid organizations have been actively responding and supporting families affected while the Flood Task Force, led by the Humanitarian Aid Commission, coordinated relief responses for emergency supplies. However, in Darfur, only the citizens are leading the initiative, as of now. Local authorities and partners are also mobilizing food assistance, but ultimately the current relief efforts are still insufficient — Darfur needs more resources and aid now. In the coming days, the flood will only add to the growing list of emergencies, including the health crisis and the need for immediate and proactive health assistance.

DWAG, therefore, calls on the Interim Government of Sudan to take immediate action in the resolution of the crisis. This includes making a public statement announcing their plans for relief in Darfur and the remainder of the country, and follow-up efforts in meeting the needs of people displaced by the floods while also searching for those still missing. DWAG furthermore calls on international humanitarian organizations, including the UN agencies operating in Sudan, to work toward providing food, clean water, and safe shelter and adequate health assistance

Only a joint effort by the Sudanese Government and international agencies can resolve this natural catastrophe. DWAG hopes to see decisive action for the sake of all victims affected.

The people of Darfur are already vulnerable due to longstanding crises, and now the flood has exacerbated their suffering. Please join us to urge the Interim government of Sudan and humanitarian agencies to stand up for the flood victims in Darfur.