Dirir Abdi Ibrhim (Godah)
Saturday, November 2, 2019
Another year and another flood enforced Beledweyn inhabitants to evacuate the city, leaving behind their business and professional activities, then hosting an open area, in rainy season, with very indeed serious hardship life, no food, no water and no shelter for most of them.
The flood solution is a national issue and utterly beyond the capacity of Regional level. The Regional level’s role is to make and advance the project proposal and solicit to be done soon. The flood event frequency (rate of recurrence) is high in the last ten years.
As we all remember the last four flood events took place in 2012-2015-2017-2019, which means almost one year for drought and the next for flood, with higher intensity respect the one before.
This is the reality the people of Beledweyn are used to deal with and to be amicably adapted with. In some parts of the same continent, after few hours of strike you read in the headline of next day Newspapers the amount of lost in financial terms the Strike has costed for the economy of that area or city.
While the inhabitants (families) of Beledweyn are constantly obligated to sustain every two years massive cost of lives and properties to deal with, through unbearable consequence of the flood, that no where mentioned and recorded, just name them:
1- Evacuation and return transport costs.
As many elders remember just like it was yesterday, during the only flood I personally witnessed in Beledweyn, the one of 1961, there were in every angle and street corner of the city new Military trucks known as “Nasar and Cameron” with three/four soldiers loading the stuff and members of families in flood risk to transfer them somewhere outside of the city, like around “115-Centoquindice”mountain flat area. Now-a-day that is unthinkable desire of the past.
2- Drugs and medication costs for those flood related and expected illnesses.
3- Life hardship, due inflation and over cost during the days of displacement.
4- Damage of commercial items like food and many others in the stores.
5- Lack of income for those their families’ life was maintained and managed by what they earned in daily bases job (muruq-maal).
6- Due enormous restoration costs of the houses and toilets to resume family’s ordinary daily life.
7- Cleaning cost of their houses around to make it accessible for normal life.
8- Intensive damage and devastation costs in agricultural infrastructure system, as well as the seasonal harvest and long term fruit plants.
No one can put in doubt that in the last 20 years and little bit beyond Beledweyn agricultural sector was booming and flourishing, that gave many people the opportunity to make income generation. Also, after covering the need of local population started in very satisfactory way to supply other regions.
9- No one can calculate and define in monetary terms the stress and anxiety the people should face due the various problems the flood fetches to them, as well as the obsession they feel for the other one coming in two years time.
10- and so on so forth, just name and list them.
The people are always engaged and busy to think about the debt (money owing) for the flood just past and the same time to think about the cost of one in the pipeline to come. Therefore, on behalf of the voiceless people we are here to say:
1- Why the solution of the flood problem is for years on the papers and lips exercise only?
2- How many other years the people of Beledweyn should still suffer for flood tragedy?
3 - It is a shame and disgrace for those representing them in the Federal Parliament.
4- It is shame for Hirshabelle Federal State Supreme Authority for not pressurising the Federal Government to do something without delay.
Overall, Hirshabelle Federal State, so far, is nothing else, but one more checkpoint of the bad bureaucratic system created between Beledweyn (Hiran region) and Mogadishu (Somali Federal Government).
5- It is shame for Hiran Regional Authority with luck of initiative and plan based on the community needs, which is written in priority’s manner and timely way for its implementation.
Finally, we are saying with loud voice to the regional authority if you can do nothing for the people struggling with chronic/recurring/repetitive flood problems, please, save for them the little humanitarian aid coming from elsewhere.
As a recommendation point about the incoming aid management, to put in place better accountability and transparency, the whole aid (financial or material) must be entrusted to properly selected Local Committee of religion and elders representatives as well as youth and women organisation members, who due their previous flood dealing experience know better than anyone else the real situation of the city community and how to deal with this problem.
This is the best option to avoid possible quarrels and complains from badly distressed needy people.
Last but not the least and generally speaking, the newly appointed Mayor of Beledweyn Safia Hassan Sh. Ali, so far, seems to have plan and determination to do something positive to the city and its community, but, for sure, alone she can do nothing. From the people of Beledweyn is expected to collaborate with to let verify her plan and goal. By the way, it is, somehow little bit, premature if some people, already, nicknamed Safiya “The mother Teresa of Beledweyne”.
Dirir Abdi Ibrahim (Godah)