Responding to the flood emergency in Sudan

By Islamic Relief

Responding to the flood emergency in Sudan

While rain is a source of joy for millions of people, it can also be a destructive force. In Sudan, heavy rainfall and floods have affected thousands of families with homes and communities devastated, while too many have lost what is far more valuable – their loved ones.

Islamic Relief is implementing an emergency flood response project in the River Nile State of Sudan.

The sound of thunder

Rashida is a 45-year-old housewife living in the Shandi locality of the River Nile State. Her house has been severely damaged by heavy rainfall and she shares her story:

“Heavy rains started falling on our village at night time for three days in a row. The sound of thunder scared me but I was more scared that my house will not withstand the heavy rain. What I was afraid of happened and my house started to collapse. The bedroom collapsed first on my daughter, Mazahir. Luckily, she was not hurt and made it out in time.”

She continued: “The walls of our house started to collapse, then, the kitchen, and then the latrines. We are living in a house with no walls now, and that does not make us feel safe. We have to use the neighbor’s latrine, which is embarrassing for us, especially for my teenage children. There is only one room left for all of us. Whenever it would rain again, we would all go outside and sleep on plastic mats. We cannot risk a room collapsing on any one of us again; it is too dangerous.”

Awful memories

Rashida says with teary eyes, “The flooding was a traumatizing experience for me. I lost my youngest daughter, Afaf, two years ago because of floods. She got sick one day with a high fever and started to have convulsions. We could not save her! There was too much water around the house and we were not able to go anywhere. She was only eight years old. Afaf was bright and playful. No day goes by without me thinking about her. This year’s flood brought back awful memories!”

Providing vital shelter

Islamic Relief supported Rashida and her family of eight people with a tent, Non-Food Items (NFIs), and a hygiene kit. The NFIs include blankets, mosquito nets, mats, jerricans, soap, shampoo, female sanitary pads, toothpaste, and toothbrushes.

Rashida says, “I have a big family; the new tent gives us more shelter; we no longer have to crowd in one room. We use the mats for eating and welcoming guests. We also wash our hands with the disinfectant soap.”

Reduced to rubble

Samira is another woman who received NFIs from Islamic Relief. She lives in the Barbar locality of the River Nile State with her family of five women. She is the breadwinner of the family but sometimes borrows money to meet her family’s daily needs.

Samira says, “I was away at work when the rain started to fall. I was worried about my family as the rainfall got heavier. I returned to the house to find the latrine, the bedroom, and the living room all collapsed. My sister, Fatima, is visually-impaired; she could only hear the sounds of bricks collapsing. My niece saw a huge dust cloud over the latrine. She immediately rushed to check it to find it reduced to rubble! It only took an hour from the start of the rain to destroy everything.”

“All seven of us are living in one room now. We had to dig a hole in the ground to use as a latrine,” explains Samira.

With Samira’s new living conditions, hygiene has become even more essential.

She says, “We use the soap to wash our hands and bathe. We fill out the jerricans with clean water. The mosquito nets are protecting us from mosquito bites at night. I am thankful for the support I received. May Allah reward you.”

Flood response

Islamic Relief’s emergency flood response in the River Nile State is reaching more than 2,000 flood-affected families with shelter, NFIs, and cash grants in three flood-affected areas in Sudan.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reports that nearly 350,000 people have been affected by rains and floods across Sudan. Since the start of the rainy season in June 2022, the floods have killed 146 people and injured 122 others. In 16 of Sudan’s 18 states, the rains and floods have destroyed or damaged more than 73,000 homes.

IRW can provide life-saving assistance to more flood-affected people in Sudan and beyond. The organization has been helping those in need in Sudan since 1984 and with generous donations, Islamic Relief continues to provide vital disaster relief.