‘My Entire Home Is Destroyed’, Sudan Villagers Lament Over Nile Floods

 

Days after a devastating flood swallowed up his village, Alsediq Abdelqader bulled his truck through the waters in a desperate attempt to locate his small house north of the Sudanese capital.

Flash floods from the Nile inundated his home last week in Wad Ramli village on the eastern river bank, expelling him and his family who managed to clamber aboard a ferry to the nearest dry land.

His drive through the flash floods was not easy as he had to avoid floating mattresses, house appliances and broken tree branches.

“My entire home is destroyed,” said the 57-year-old. “I have lived all my life in this village and I have never seen a flood like this before.”

“I’m struggling to recognise my house and trying to identify it, as some others have done, by the trees around it.”

His home is among thousands destroyed or damaged by the floods that struck at least 15 states, affecting nearly 200,000 people across Sudan.

The worst hit area was White Nile state in the south.

About 62 people were killed and nearly 100 injured overall, said the official SUNA news agency quoting a health ministry official as saying the crisis “did not reach the level of being declared a disaster.”

Volunteers and aid workers immediately rushed to Wad Ramli when the savage floods hit.

Authorities dispatched lorries and boats to wade through the thick water to rescue families and salvage their furniture and valuables.

But Abdelqader was among the less fortunate, unable to find their belongings.

“I have not managed to recover any of my furniture or belongings. My family is now staying with relatives in a nearby village,” said Abdelqader.

‘Mosquitoes Everywhere’

On the main road outside Wad Ramli, piles of sodden furniture are strewn about as homeless families shelter in dozens of make-shift tents.

The crisis comes as Sudan ushers in a political transition to civilian rule.

A prime minister and a civilian majority ruling body are to oversee a three-year transitional period following the ouster of veteran ruler Omar al-Bashir in April.

On Friday, the newly-appointed Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok visited Wad Ramli and gave directives to intensify aid efforts.

The UN says the crisis is expected to drag on until October.

“We have not been able to survey the number of houses affected in Wad Ramli due to the rising water levels,” said Farouk Ahmed, supervisor of a Red Crescent aid team.

He estimates the village alone had about 6,000 residents.

And as Wad Ramli inhabitants reel from the floods, residents of nearby villages are bracing themselves for water levels to keep rising.

In Wawesi Gharb village, about half a kilometre (500 yards), 35-year-old farmer Sami Ali says he is running out of ways to roll back the water threat.

“We placed piles of sandbags around houses to reduce the damage in case we were flooded especially after the water surrounded our village from all sides,” he said.

Another resident, 24-year-old Hozeifa al-Ser, expressed fear of an outbreak of diseases especially as “mosquitoes and flies are hovering everywhere”.

‘We Will Go Back’

Mobile health clinics were set up outside the village to serve Wad Ramli but aid workers say medicine and food are in short supply.

In the tents, hundreds of villagers are pondering ways return to their lives.

Along with her two sisters and their families, Nafisa al-Saeed said they plan to go back home after the water recedes.

“We lived in this village all our lives. We will have to go back and rebuild our houses. Authorities just have to build flood barriers but we will not leave this place,” she said.

But 19-year-old Shehab al-Din Mohamed says he lost his documents and identification cards as well as university application papers.

“The academic year will start soon and I have no idea how I would submit my documents after I lost everything,” he said.

“It seems like we will be living here (in the tent) until October, and I have no idea what to do.”

Hard Drugs Worth 13bn Naira Destroyed In Kano

NDLEAThe Kano State government on Wednesday led the destruction of hard, fake and counterfeit drugs worth 31.8 billion Naira arrested by the Kano state police command.

Destroying the drugs, Governor Abdullahi Ganduje said he had directed the State Chief Judge and Grand Kadi to ensure that suspected drug dealers and addicts were prosecuted without fear or favour and in accordance with the law.

Kano State is still on the top list of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, as a sate with the highest drug consuming record in Nigeria.

The State Governor, the State Police Commissioner and members of the State Executive Council set ablaze about 8,974 cartons of hard drugs comprising cocaine, Indian hemp, and other intoxicating substances seized by the police at various occasions across Kano State.

“Kano will not continue to be a dumping ground for drug dealers and addicts. Aggressive measures are being put in place to sweep Kano and to apprehend all drug dealers and addicts,” Governor Ganduje stressed.

Mr Ganduje also urged youths to desist from dealing in drugs and key into government various empowerment programme, as there would be no hiding place for drugs dealers and addicts in the commercial city of Kano.

He further said that his government had already empowered the State Reformatory Institute to rehabilitate drug addicts and integrate them back into the society.

According to him, training in different skills and startup capital would also be given to the rehabilitated addicts.

Briefing the Governor on the command’s activities in recent times, the State Police Commissioner, Musa Katsina, said the drugs seized comprise of 2,818 bags of Indian hemp, 11,399 compressed wraps of Spiro gyrations as well as different brand of other intoxicating substances.

The commissioner also told reporters that so far, 361 suspects were arrested and that 211 of them were charged and remanded in prison.

Although Kano State Government in collaboration with other law enforcement agencies are still coming to terms with the increasing cases of illicit drug trading  and abuse.

Efforts are, however, still required to remove Kano state from the NILE list which rank Kano number one state in drug trading and consumption in Nigeria.