Sudan Information (before independence)
Additional information on the country of Sudan and the regions of Sudan in which many of the programs of Canadian Aid for South Sudan take place. This information was compiled before the separation of South Sudan.
Sudan is the largest country in Africa, located in the North Eastern part of the continent. It is primarily landlocked, except for a section of coast along the Red Sea.
Sudan is about 1000 miles across at it's widest, and a little more than 1000 miles north to south. It is 1 million square miles in area, or about 2.5 million square kilometers. This is approximately equal to the area of the provinces of Ontario and Quebec added together. Another way to look at it is Sudan is about the same size as the eastern United States from the Atlantic to the Mississippi River. This is a little more than a quarter of the total area of the U.S.
The population of Sudan is about 39 million (2005, U.N. estimate). The largest urban centre is the area in and around the capital city, Khartoum, with a population of about 4 million. Khartoum is located at the junction of the White Nile and the Blue Nile, which merge to form the Nile River that flows north through Egypt. Much of the population of Sudan lives in cities and towns along the Nile or it's many tributaries.
Sudan is divided politically into 26 states, as shown in the map below. The troubled Darfur area is along the western side of the country, near the border with Chad and the Central African Republic. This region consists primarily of the states of Northern Darfur, Western Darfur and Southern Darfur.
Each of the states is divided into numerous districts, or counties. Much of the work of Canadian Aid for South Sudan has been centred around the counties of Aweil East and Twic. The county of Aweil East is shown in red in the map above, within the highlighted state of Northern Bahr El Ghazal. For more information, follow the link for Aweil East. Also please refer to the information on Twic, where CASS was active several years ago, in the late 90's and early 2000's.
These rural counties consist of mostly farms and villages. High population densities force the people to farm the same small plots of land repeatedly, exhausting the soil and producing low yields that can supply their needs for only a few months. The worst time for food shortages are the months from June through September, before the harvest in October.
This area is the borderland between the mostly Arabic northern part of Sudan and Southern Sudan, which consists primarily of black tribes. CASS is working primarily with the black Dinka tribes that inhabit this region.
The Sahara Desert blankets the top third of Africa, including a large portion of Sudan. The climate ranges from arid desert in the north to tropical grasslands and plains in the south. Most of the terrain is flat and featureless, with some marshes and river valleys, and mountains in the west and east.
The most extreme temperatures are found in the desert north, where winter temperatures can get as low as 5 C (about 40 F) at night, and summer temperatures often exceed 43 C (about 110 F). In the central area around Khartoum, the average annual temperature is 27 C (about 80 F). In this region the annual rainfall is about 10 inches.
CASS operates in the southern regions of Sudan, where the climatic conditions are more equatorial. In this area the average annual temperature is 29 C (about 85 F), the annual rainfall is more than 40 inches (coming mostly in the rainy season from May to October), and the humidity can be very high.
Most of the information on this page has been compiled from the UN Sudan Information Gateway website, www.unsudanig.org. This includes maps from the Map Centre, statistics from Starbase, and general information from IRIN news, through the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. (See also Resources)