Khartoum’s roadside refugees call for help after floods

August 15, 2013 7:42 am
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A Sudanese family sits next to their house in a flooded street on the outskirts of Khartoum on August 10, 2013/AFP
A Sudanese family sits next to their house in a flooded street on the outskirts of Khartoum on August 10, 2013/AFP

, KHARTOUM, Aug 15 – It looks as if an earthquake, not a flood, hit the Khartoum district of Sharq ElNeel.

Heavy roofs have collapsed in on themselves, crushing what was below, while the bricks in less sturdy homes have simply tumbled down, forming piles of rubble.

Two weeks after the worst flooding in years hit Sudan’s capital region, killing about 30 and affecting more than 84,000, ankle deep muddy water still covers this district east of the Blue Nile river.

Sharq ElNeel is one of the worst hit areas.

“Now this street is my home,” says Jamaal Hamad, one of dozens of roadside refugees who have set up camp in this mixed residential and farming area.

They have carried beds through the water, attached pieces of wood and cloth, and built crude shelters next to the busy two-lane paved street.

“Our house was destroyed and we live under the sun now. We even lost all our furniture,” says Ali Mohammed, a labourer who earns 600 pounds a month (about $84, 63 euros).

“So I cannot save money for rebuilding. We really need help from the government and others,” he says.

Another labourer, Ajab Mohammed Ali, says the heavy rains which began on August 1 even swept away the donkey cart on which his livelihood depended.

The donkey survived.

Some of the animals wait near the beds of their owners, oblivious to passing traffic.

“The clothes you see me wearing are what I had on the day of the disaster,” says another displaced man, Mohammed Nayeem Adam.

He had come to get drinking water dispensed from a cube shaped tank by two young men.

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