Mogadishu, Somalia – (African Boulevard News) – After months of devastating drought, Somalia has been left with a new tragedy on its hands, flooding. Recent heavy rains caused river banks to burst leaving many thousands of people displaced in the southern parts of the country.
According to a recent report by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), a total of 10,000 households have been affected by the floods in Beledweyne alone. This is in addition to the thousands already displaced by drought in the region.
“Many households were already very vulnerable due to displacement and loss of livelihoods caused by drought. The flooding has now worsened their situation,” said OCHA spokesperson, Hayat Abdi.
In the Beledweyne district, over 60% of the population has been impacted by the floods. The district commissioner, Mohamed Hassan, said that many houses, schools, and health facilities have been destroyed, leaving people without shelter and basic services.
“The situation is dire. Many families are sleeping in the open, without food or clean water. We urgently need support from both the government and humanitarian agencies,” Hassan said.
The floods have also resulted in a rise in waterborne diseases such as cholera and diarrhea, which are further exacerbating the already dire humanitarian situation. The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned of a potential outbreak if urgent measures are not taken to address the situation.
“The waterborne diseases and lack of food and shelter are a recipe for disaster. We need to act quickly to prevent a public health crisis,” warned Dr. Mahmoud Fikri, WHO’s representative for Somalia.
Humanitarian organizations such as the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and World Vision are currently providing assistance to affected communities. However, much more support is needed to address the scale of the crisis.
“The situation is desperate. Families have lost everything and need immediate assistance to survive. We call on the international community to provide urgent support to those affected,” said Annick Bouvier, ICRC’s Somalia representative.
The floods are another reminder of the precarious situation faced by many communities in Somalia. With continued exposure to various crises such as drought, conflict, and now floods, there is a pressing need for long-term solutions to build resilience and protect vulnerable populations.