AMISOM has distributed food and other essential commodities to thousands of residents displaced by floods in Beletweyne.
The consignment, worth thousands of dollars, was donated by the Djibouti government following appeals by non-governmental organizations and the Federal Government of Somalia for humanitarian aid.
We have now received the first humanitarian assistance from Djibouti government, which we have distributed part of it. OCHA (United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs) visited us today and told us they will also bring food, medicine and shelter for the IDPs. The number of IDPs who fled from the Beletweyne floods is estimated at between 17,000 and 20,000. Really, the damage is very huge but we are doing our best,” said Sector Four Commander Abdirahman Abdi Dhimbil.
Hundreds of residents have been left homeless after Shabelle River broke its banks following weeks of torrential rains.
According to OCHA, Hiiraan office, the raging floods have rendered approximately 70,000 families homeless. It is estimated that 60,000 were displaced in Ceel jaale east of Beletweyne, 922 in Nasiib Camp, 380 in Doon-subagle west of Beletweyne, while the rest have been forced to move from Burjada ciinta and Far-libaax.
The raging floods have also affected many villages, among them, Bundaweyn, Koshin, Hawo tako and part of Howl-wadag.
Elder Mohamed Elmi Farah described the flooding as one of the worst to have hit the region in recent times, adding that the disaster had caused a lot of human suffering.
“This flooding is one of the worst and it reminds us of another bad one which affected us 36 years ago in 1980,” said the 75-year-old Farah.
Djiboutian Ambassador to Somalia, Dayib Dubab Roble, said Djibouti will do all it can to help Somalia tackle the flood problem, by not only donating food but also other essential commodities like blankets and mosquito nets.
In early May, OCHA warned that Somalia could experience flooding due to heavy rains. At that time, the UN organization said there was a foreseen high risk of flooding in the middle and lower reaches of Shabelle River and moderate risk along Juba.
Deputy Hiiraan Governor, Mohamed Ibrahim Abdulahi, said maintaining peace and security had been a challenge as main streets and alleys were covered by water.
“When the flooding started on the 14th of May, it became difficult to ensure security prevails as main streets became closed. However, we did the best we can.”
The deputy governor refuted reports that Al Shabaab militants infiltrated the region, following recent clan fights, adding that the regional administration was in control of security matters.
“Whenever there are clan fights, there is normally a fear that Al Shabaab militia will infiltrate the region but this has not happened. The regional administration is fully in control of security,” Deputy Governor Abdullahi said.
He said efforts to reconcile the warring faction were going on well, adding that the main clans had shown interest to live in peace.