Torrential rains in neighbouring Ethiopia have swollen the Nile, which flows into Sudan.
BY ROGER BAIRD | IBT
Khartoum is braced for “massive floods” along the Nile as the river’s water levels hit one hundred-year highs, following warnings from Sudan’s irrigation ministry.
Torrential rains in neighbouring Ethiopia have swollen the Blue Nile which converges with the White Nile in Sudanese capital.
“Water levels of Blue Nile and the Nile are rising, and today the level of the Nile reached its highest in 100 years in Khartoum,” the irrigation ministry said in a statement on Monday (21 August).
It added: “The water level touched 17.14 metres in Khartoum, and is expected to rise more.”
People living along the Nile have been asked to exercise caution in Khartoum with heavy flooding expected over the next two days, the ministry said.
Every year Sudan battles heavy flooding from the Nile. Last year heavy rains in Sudan killed 76 people and destroyed thousands of homes, affecting 13 of the East African nation’s 18 provinces.
Raging floods destroyed 3,206 houses, and damaged 3,048 others in the eastern province of Kassala, one of the worst hit areas, according to the Interior ministry.
Sudan suffers from an underdeveloped infrastructure, particularly in rural areas, which makes it harder to cope with heavy rain and natural disasters.
In 2013, 48 people were killed and more than 500,000 affected by the worst floods in Sudan in quarter of a century.
The region around the capital, Khartoum, was particularly badly hit, with at least 15,000 homes destroyed and thousands of others damaged. Across Sudan, at least 25,000 homes are no longer habitable. The UN classed situation as a disaster.
The flooding caused the collapse of more than 53,000 latrines and saw the World Health Organisation deal with an increase in malaria cases in the region.