Sudan floods death toll reaches 89

Eighty-nine people have died in flooding in Sudan as heavy rains that washed away homes and spread water-borne disease continue to batter the country, a government official said on Wednesday.

Sudanese officials have described this year’s floods as the worst in living memory with unexpectedly early rains destroying more than 70 000 homes.

“Eighty-nine people passed away,” Hamadallah Adam Ali, head of the government Civil Defence Authority, told Reuters on Wednesday.

“Some drowned, some had their houses collapse,” he said, adding some people were electrocuted.

A United Nations statement said the world body was giving Sudan a grant of $8,7-million for flood relief.

“Amid continued devastation caused by floods in the Sudan ... [the United Nations] has approved a grant of $8,7-million to support the ongoing humanitarian response,” said the statement by the UN’s humanitarian aid agency, OCHA.

OCHA said the floods had affected hundreds of thousands of people across a dozen states in Africa’s largest country and many do not have adequate access to food aid.

Heavy flooding in some states has destroyed latrines and polluted water supplies, spreading deadly water-borne diseases like cholera and malaria.

A World Health Organisation official said the number of cholera cases in east Sudan had risen to 808, including 53 deaths.

Cholera causes severe diarrhoea and can lead to death within hours if not treated.

“Eight hundred and eight cases and 53 deaths, but since the last three days there have not been any new cases,” Ahmed al-Ganainy told Reuters.

He added the outbreak could not be considered contained until several weeks had passed without new cases.

Sudan’s Ministry of Health has appeared reluctant to release information on the cholera outbreak. But Reuters obtained a ministry report last week confirming 70% of the diarrhoea cases in the east tested positive for cholera.

Ministry officials declined to give any information on the outbreak to Reuters on Wednesday, but the WHO says their numbers are from the ministry.—Reuters

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