People of Sudan have been suffering for the last decades from civil conflicts, resulting in the U.S. sanctions and lack of basic resources, and in 2020, a pandemic that hit the world. Unfortunately, these factors are enough to affirm that the majority of the population in Sudan will remain at or below the poverty line for years to come.
Seasonal floods in Sudan happen on almost annual basis during rainy weathers. However, the amount of rain the country witnessed this year is beyond catastrophic. Experts have been carefully monitoring the water levels in the Nile and its tributaries since the start of the rainy season and warned that they are unprecedented.
The Sudan floods are the most violent and largest of the century in Sudan’s history as 16 out of 18 states were swept through, leading to the death of more than 100 people, destruction of more than 1000 homes, and displacement of many families and neighborhoods.
IFAW began assessing the needs of the people in Sudan to be able to assist them with the best we could during this difficult time. And after careful consideration of all aspects, we found our through our contact in Sudan, that to create real change, IFAW needs to support Wad Ramli village in North of Khartoum – a village that has suffered great losses due to the floods. With the support we have on ground, we initiated conversations with the local farmers in Wad Ramli and learned that they have been receiving humanitarian assistance in the form of tents and food, but none of the other organizations supported their livestock, which they depend on for a living.
We also learned that the village and surrounding agricultural areas have unfortunately turned into water lakes, which has forced the villagers to move to a dry area (desert) with their animals, which represented a serious pitfall; lack of need vegetation to feed their animals and livestock.
Working with the community to support animals
The next step for IFAW is now clear – to support the community, we need to provide their animals with feed and make sure they survive this catastrophe. Based on the assessment, IFAW estimated that over 300 farmers in War Ramli village will need support, and they who owned over 500 cattle, among other animals such as sheep, goats, and donkeys. On that account, IFAW provided 20 tons of cattle feed and offered to support with veterinary care as needed in the village.
Working with the local community has always been a privilege for IFAW, but in this case especially, the teamwork that was put in the operation was overwhelmingly extraordinary from all ends. While IFAW provided food and veterinary care, the concerned authorities secured a warehouse in the village to store it in, and the community members took shifts to guard it until distribution to the farmers.
The agriculture and animal wealth production represent important resources to the local communities in Sudan for their subsistence, and the lack of such resources will directly threaten their livelihoods. As for the economic losses, which Sudan cannot afford at this stage, economists estimate that the initial loss is at about $4 billion – the government did not communicate the estimate of direct/indirect losses.