Nile water levels continue to decline in Sudan after devastating floods: Ministry

Ahram Online , Saturday 19 Sep 2020

Egypt has been on high alert due to floods in Sudan, expecting a higher-than-average annual Nile flood

Flood water
Flood water fills a ditch in the ancient royal city at the archaeological site of Meroe, in the Sudanese al-Bajrawia area in the River Nile State, 300Km north of the capital, on September 9, 2020. AFP

The Nile water levels in most of areas in Sudan continue to decline, but the Khartoum-Shendi sector still records its highest level, said floods committee of the Ministry of Water Resources on Friday, as Sudan had been hit by deadly floods, but water started to recede.

Sudan floods, due to heavy rains especially in neighbouring Ethiopia, caused the Nile level to rise to an unprecedented level since 1912, according to Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok. Dozens of people were killed and hundreds of thousands others were displaced.

Authorities have declared a three-month emergency state and have designated the country a natural disaster zone.

Blue Nile water flow at Deim water station, which borders Ethiopia, will be around 590 million cubic metres on Saturday, the committee said, down from 595 million on Thursday, 600 million on Wednesday and 985million on September 2.

For the Nile state of Atbara, water flow will be around 155 million cubic metres, up from 125 million on Thursday, 150 million on Wednesday. The peak in Atbara River reached a peak of 450 million cubic metres, state’s news agency SUNA reported, citing Executive Director or Dams Rehabilitation, Mutasim Al-Awad as saying.

On Friday, water levels recorded 17.37 metres and is expected to remain the same on Saturday. Water levels are expected to drop in northern water stations on Saturday, to record 15.55 metres in Atbara down from 15.74 metres on Friday and 14.91 in Dongola down from 14.98.

The floods committee called on citizens and relevant authorities to remain cautious.

Sudan’s usual rain season takes place annually between June and October. Water levels in the White Nile rise from spring to May and in the Blue Nile from July to September. This year, the equatorial sources of the River Nile, prime among which is Lake Victoria, shared by Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania, witnessed torrential rains that contributed to the increased water level in the White Nile.

Less than two months later, Ethiopia’s Lake Tana, source of the Blue Nile, saw heavy rains, especially in August, increasing the water levels of the Blue Nile to a record 17.67 metres on 7 September.

Egypt has been on high alert due to floods in Sudan, expecting a higher-than-average annual Nile flood. The Egyptian Ministry of Water Resources have continued to remove building violations on Nile waterways to allow water networks to contain excess water, but has reassured citizens that the Aswan Dam in Upper Egypt, as well as barrages on the northern branches of the Nile River, will help contain water.


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