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Big Sudan floods worry new government

The flooding that has killed scores of people and destroyed tens of thousands of homes in Sudan is proving to become the first major crisis to confront the country’s new leader.

Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, Sudan’s first civilian leader since 1989, was sworn in on August 21. His inauguration raised hopes that the new civilian-led government would mean a fresh approach to governance in the North African nation.

Mr. Hamdok told Reuters on Tuesday that the flood situation required “immediate and strategic intervention”.

He said “the government must put in place solutions and plans to ensure that the harm to citizens from floods and rains does not repeat.”

Announcing the formation of a task force to cater to the relief effort, the PM stressed that Sudan should emulate other countries by building damns and channels.

The flood crisis comes at a time of huge transition for Sudan, as months of protests ushered in a transitional government that must also tackle a full-blown economic crisis and internal conflicts.

Analysts note, however, that the new PM is hamstrung by an economy crippled by debt and a legacy of under investment in infrastructure that has worsened the flood crisis.

The communities hit by the floods, which started in July, have been mostly left to fend for themselves or rely on aid with little help from authorities.

On Sunday, Mr. Hamdok’s cabinet was sworn in, although civilian state governors have yet to be appointed.

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