Floods in Somalia kills 22, displaces hundreds
Monday, June 03, 2013
In southern Somali town of Jowhar, hundreds of families and farmers have been displaced after a river burst its banks in Middle Shabelle region.
Those highly affected are the internally displaced persons. Many villages and farms have remained under water as sanitation system has collapsed. The displaced families also raise safety concern posed by stagnant water in many of the affected camps.
The local administration says that at least 22 people have been killed due to the floods. Many of the victims are said to be young children.
We toured the town to witness the scale of the flooding. In one of the camps, we met this old woman Sahra Mahad, who says she has lived there for six years.
Sahra says she has lost two of her grandchildren in recent floods. She accuses the Somali government and the U-N aid agencies for doing little to improve their situation. She now wants the government, the international community and Muslim countries to come to their rescue.
Thousands of families who fled the 2011 famine in south central Somalia live in Jowhar town but the recent flooding has forced them to seek fresh grounds.
The local administration in Jowhar town says that among those who remain vulnerable are elderly women and children as the United Nations warns of major health risks, including increased incidents of cholera, typhoid, diarrhoea and malaria in many of the camps.
In December 2012, Somali National Army forces assisted by AMISOM troops re-captured the city from the Al-Shabaab local fighters after three years.
Jowhar town lies 90km north of the capital, Mogadishu and commands access to Somalia's biggest road linking the south and central regions of the country.
It is also at the heart of a rich agricultural area but with the recent floods. Farmers are worried that the region might become food insecure and call for immediate help from both the government and the United Nations.