August 11 2003 SOS Children's Villages provides relief to flood victims in Sudan 11/08/2003 - Uninterrupted rains have produced heavy flooding particularly in the eastern part of Sudan. Thousands of people have been made homeless and diseases are spreading quickly. A first relief effort sees SOS Children's Villages distribute drugs and food in Kassala and Malakal. Excessive rains for days have produced heavy flooding in large parts of the Kassala province. The provincial capital of the same name was flooded as the rain caused the River Gash to burst its banks. UN sources claim that 300,000 people have been made homeless. The neighbourhood of SOS Children's Village Malakal in the country's southeast has also been strongly affected by the torrential rains. Water supply networks have been partly damaged and drinking water sources have become contaminated. Outbreaks of malaria have become more frequent also among children from the SOS Children's Village. A first relief effort saw SOS Children's Villages Sudan distribute antibiotics and drugs to fight malaria, diarrhoea and coughs and colds as well as milk powder to 1,000 people in Kassala and 500 persons affected in Malakal. Guaranteed medical assistance services can be provided to about 150 people. Based on actual demand and feasibility, people affected by the flooding could be provided with additional food, drugs, clothing and temporary shelters. *** First negotiations with the Sudanese government to build an SOS Children's Village in Sudan started in 1975. Construction works to establish the SOS Children's Village in the capital of Khartoum went underway as early as November of the same year; the village was inaugurated in 1978. Additional social services offered include a kindergarten, a primary and a secondary school, a youth facility, a farm and a small medical station. In 1995, financial aid was provided by SOS Children's Villages for building a deep water well and installing a water pump to secure water supplies for 25,000 people in the district of El Salama. The civil war that had been ravaging the country since 1955 had a devastating effect on the living conditions of children in Sudan. Particularly the population in the country's south has never experienced anything else but living a life in never-ending fear and permanent deprivation. Given the desperate situation, a meeting between representatives of SOS-Kinderdorf International and the vice-president of Sudan was organised in late 1996 to discuss the opportunity of establishing a second SOS Children's Village in Southern Sudan. As a result of the meeting, a plot of land in Malakal (in the upper reaches of River Nile) was handed over to SOS Children's Villages. Construction works started in 1998, and the village was completed in late 2001.