Peacekeepers to the rescue as floods overwhelm Somalia
The peacekeepers serving with the African Union Missions in Somalia (Amisom) have joined the efforts to assist victims of massive flooding in the country.
The Djibouti and Ethiopian peacekeepers and the Somali National Army (SNA) were helping in delivering food and relocating hundreds of people to safer grounds.
The Shabelle, one of the two rivers passing through Somalia’s central and southern regions has burst its banks at several points, affecting thousands of people.
Beledweyne town, the capital of Hiran region, 335km north of Mogadishu, is the most affected.
Over 100,000 people are estimated to have moved to higher grounds on the outskirts of the town. Many more remained stranded in parts of the town.
The President of Hirshabelle State, an authority in Central Somalia, Mr Mohamed Abdi Ware, commended the Amisom troops for their efforts.
“Over 100,000 people, roughly 26,000 families, have moved to the outskirts of Beledweyne town,” said President Ware, addressing a press conference, with almost half of his body under the flood waters.
“We thank the Amisom troops and the SNA forces for assisting the floods-affected people,” he said.
“We urgently request the federal government of Somalia and the international community to come to the rescue of the people in Hirshabelle State, especially in Beledweyne town,” the regional leader pleaded.
The Shabelle River in Beledwene town have risen eight metres above normal following the onset of the long rains season.