pennslammer34500weight|Roundup: Heat wave exacerbates suffering of Sudanese amid continued deadly conflict

super2024-07-08 03:07:468News

KHARTOUM, July 7 (Xinhua) -- Hit by an unprecedented heat wave, Sudan saw a reduction in its agricultural production this year, further exacerbating the suffering of its people amid the ongoing civil conflictpennslammer34500weight.

The production of maize has more than halved due to the extreme heat, with temperatures surpassing 50 degrees Celsius, according to farmers.

During the past years, the production of one feddan of maize (about 0.4 hectare) in northern Sudan was about 15 sacks of 100 kg-size, while the number this year dropped to about six sacks only.

"The heat wave coincided with maize's grain-fill and maturity phase, significantly impacting the harvest," said Abdul-Rahim Mohamed, a farmer in northern Sudan.

The farmer lamented that the harvest of his four-feddan maize farmland stood at 61 sacks last year, but dropped significantly to 25 sacks this year.

Maize is a major crop in Sudan, which is widely used in making bread, a staple food in the country's northern areas.

Moreover, climate change, compounded by the ongoing war between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), has dealt a blow to the agricultural sector, causing a food shortage that would possibly lead to famine in the country, warned international organizations.

According to Nour Aldayem Merghani, a Sudanese environmental expert, high temperatures, low rainfall, repeated drought waves, loss of soil fertility, and decline in the efficiency of irrigation infrastructure together affect agricultural production in Sudan.

Musab Brair, an environmental activist, told Xinhua that the current armed conflict contributed to the deterioration of the country's ecosystems, depleted its natural resources, and limited the state's ability to address poverty and inequality.

Sudan Meteorological Authority, which provides weather, climate, and early warning services, warned Friday of a heat wave and possible recording of the nation's highest temperatures in Northern and River Nile states.

To avoid the negative effects of high temperatures, the Northern State instructed schools at all levels to begin the school day early and end it by noon.

In Port Sudan, the capital of Red Sea State in eastern Sudan, public and private schools were also closed due to high temperatures.

The heat wave has coincided with repeated programmed power outages that may extend for more than 12 hours a day in some areas, mainly due to the stoppage of a number of thermal stations because of the war, exacerbating people's suffering.

pennslammer34500weight|Roundup: Heat wave exacerbates suffering of Sudanese amid continued deadly conflict

Sudan has been embroiled in a deadly conflict between the SAF and the RSF since mid-April 2023, which had claimed at least 16,650 lives by early May 2024, according to a watchdog update cited by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in a report in late June.

The UN International Organization for Migration estimated that over 7.7 million people in Sudan have been internally displaced amid the conflict, while about 2.2 million others have crossed borders into neighboring countries to seek refuge.

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