Sudanese activists appeal for solidarity after Nile floods disaster

Devastating floods caused by extremely heavy rains in Ethiopia and Sudan have left hundreds of thousands homeless in Sudan. Middle East Solidarity spoke to Marwa Kessinger who is one of the many Sudanese activists abroad who is mobilising support and solidarity for those affected.

“Sudan is experiencing the highest floods on record since 1946. More than 100 people were killed, over 120000 houses were destroyed and over 500,000 have been displaced,” Marwa told us.

Homes and livelihoods have been swept away in cities along the banks of the Nile. Long neglect of the rivers, dams and drainage systems by the dictatorship of Omar al Bashir has made the problems worse. “The Omar al Bashir regime expelled most of the engineers who had experience in operating dams,” Marwa said.

However, activists and experts are clear that accelerating climate change lies behind the devastating nature of the floods. “Climate change is here and it is now” emphasizes the Stand for Sudan campaign, set up by Sudanese activists to mobilise solidarity for the flood victims.

“The rains usually come at a certain time and people have been counting on that, and they move to areas where the Nile borders the banks,” says climate change expert Marwa Taha in a report by Al Jazeera. “But this year we’ve seen an increase in the amount of rainfall because of climate change and so the Nile has flooded more than before. In addition, a lot of trees have been cut down to make place for residential areas near the Nile, affecting the valleys where the water would flow through.”

Solidarity for the flood victims is urgently needed, says Marwa. “People have lost their homes, furniture, and many other belongings. They are really in need of shelter, food and medicine. Activists and trade unionists can help in different ways such as spreading the word to help our campaign to gather medical and financial help to our people in Sudan.”

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