The Sudd is a huge swampy biological supermarket
in South Sudan, formed by the White Nile, comprising more than 15% of the
country's total area; it is one of the world's largest wetlands.
The Sudd of South Sudan is a large swampy area of more than 38,610 sq miles or 100,000 sq km fed
by the waters of the White Nile. The Sudd dominates the center of Africa’s
newest country, South Sudan.
|The Sudd|The Sudd is one of
the largest flood plains in Africa, and one of the largest tropical wetlands in
the world. The Sudd region has countless wetlands, a maze of channels, lakes,
and swamps, and which receives water from the Bahr el Gazal River. One of the
most extraordinary physical features of the Sudd is its flatness and the soils
of the whole area are generally clayish and poor in nutrients.
The idea behind the construction
of the Jonglei Canal was to bypass the Sudd region and to direct a downstream a
proportion of the water available for irrigation and other uses downstream in
Sudan and Egypt.
The Jonglei Canal
had been planned for construction in 1978 but work stopped in November 1983 because
of civil war. When Sudan gained its independence in 1956, it was with the
understanding that the southerners would be able to participate fully in the
When the Arab
Khartoum government reneged on its promises, a mutiny began that led to two
prolonged periods of conflict from 1955-1972 and 1983-2005 in which possibly
2.5 million people died.
The canal would have provided a straight channel for
the Al-Jabal River to flow northward until its junction with the White Nile. However,
the project would have drained the swamplands of the Sudd.
The Sudd wetlands provide
fish and wildlife habitats, storing floodwaters and maintaining surface water
flow during dry periods in South Sudan.
The Sudd is also an important place for
biodiversity because of an immense variety of species of microbes, plants,
insects, amphibians, reptiles, birds, fish and mammals, some of which are only
found in the region.
The ecological issue today is if water is drained
from the Sudd through the construction of the Jonglei Canal can serious or
irreparable damage to the Sudd environment be avoided.
Sudd Swamp three facts
Papyrus reeds which grow prolifically in the Sudd is a native plant of Africa
Sudd is the world's largest wetlands in the Nile basin
In the wet season, the Sudd covers an area nearly 1 1/2 times the size of Texas.