Norwegian Refugee Council calls dire situation 'a ticking time bomb for disease outbreaks like cholera and malaria'
By Felix Nkambeh Tih
Friday April 27, 2018
At least 427,000 people have been affected by flooding due to heavy rains across Somalia in April, the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) said on Friday.
''Our staff on the ground have seen the elderly, women and children struggling to survive while their flimsy shelters are knee-high full of stagnant water,'' NRC Country Director Victor Moses said in a statement.
''Countless displaced communities are sheltering in flood-prone areas. With limited access to proper toilets and clean water, it’s a ticking time bomb for disease outbreaks like cholera and malaria,'' Moses warned.
On Thursday, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said ''nearly 175,000 have been displaced as a result of the flash and river flooding in Hirshabelle, South West and Jubaland states as well as Banadir region”.
''No new human casualties have been reported since the last update when three people were found drowned,'' it added.
One displaced mother in Baidoa told NRC staff how she delivered a baby during the flooding: “My labor pains started in the middle of the rains. The flooding came into my house and the floods pushed us to seek refuge in a neighboring community.
“I’m staying there until the water dries out.”
The UN said “heavy rainfall is likely to continue over the coming week both inside Somalia and within the Ethiopian highlands”.
Somali local authorities had also called on the federal government and humanitarian agencies to help those who are in very critical conditions, according to Somali news agency SONNA.