Panafrican News Agency

Nile water reaches unprecedented level in hundred years

Khartoum, Sudan (PANA) - Sudan officially announced here Friday the water level in the Nile had reached a peak unheard of over the past 100 years.

The official news agency quoted the Sudanese ministry of Irrigation and Water Resources as saying that the level of water in the Nile Thursday reached the unprecedented level of 17.43 metres, compared to 17.26 metres in 2019, and 17.32 a century ago.

The water level in the Nile is currently the bone of contention between Addis Ababa, Khartoum and Cairo. 

Sudanese minister of Irrigation and Water Resources Professor Yasser Abbas said almost a hundred years ago, the river level reached its peak of 17.32 metres.

The water reached this level, despite the fact that Ethiopia had started filling the Greater Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), thus holding back huge amounts of water that could have devastated the whole south eastern and central Sudan as the Blue Nile is the main tributary.

Prof. Abbas warned that even the famous 1946 flood did not exceed 17.10 metres and that of the 1988 flood level of 17 metres, the Khartoum flood level on Thursday recorded 17.43 metres and would possibly reach 17.44 metres on Friday or Saturday.

The minister called on people living along the banks of the Nile to take precautionary measures to protect their areas and villages.

The United Nations said heavy rains and flash floods since mid-July affected over 380,000 people and killed nearly 90 across 17 states in Sudan as at 25 August, according to preliminary data from the Government’s Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC).

The continued storms and flooding are causing extensive damage to houses, schools, water points and other critical infrastructure, with North Darfur, Sennar, and West Kordufan states being among the hardest hit.

A UN report published by the OCHA said more than 37,000 homes had been destroyed, forcing most of the families affected to seek shelter with relatives and host communities.

Another 39,000 houses, 34 schools and 2,671 health facilities have been damaged, according to the HAC.

In central Sudan and along the river Nile banks, usually heavy rains cause flash floods, and it is at this time that the Nile, particularly the Blue Nile, pours into the Sudan from the Ethiopian plateau, a mountainous region that holds no water.

With this rise in the water level, Sudanese have to wait for seven days to see if the situation would abate or worsen.


-0-   PANA   MO/RA  28Aug2020