UPDATE: Hirshabelle President urges action to combat flooding
Mohamed Abdi Ware, the regional President of Hirshabelle, has said that nearly 26,000 families in Beledweyne have been displaced by heavy flooding.
President Ware said that torrential downpours have forced the banks of the Shabelle river to burst, washing away homes and livelihoods in the process.
“The flooding is so severe in certain area’s that we cannot distinguish between the river and the ground. We estimate the 26,000 families or close to 100,000 people have been affected by the flooding. The children, elderly and the sick are especially at risk,” President Ware said.
He added that there were power outages were reported throughout the Beledweyne and nearby riverine villages. which residents say has led to difficulties in accessing EVC – a mobile wallet – which has compounded the situation greatly.
“There is a humanitarian crisis developing in front of our own eyes in Beled Weyne town. Over 100,000 people have been displaced from their homes, many with young children sickened old relatives. More are displaced every day as the crisis continues,” reads the statement in part, “These displaced families are in immediate need of drinking water, shelter, and sanitation facilities. The danger of water-borne diseases cannot be overstated.”
President Ware urged the international community and Somali diaspora to take action and help their brothers and sisters in need.
“We appeal to the International Community- donors, NGO’s and others of goodwill – to assist us in addressing this developing humanitarian crisis and to prevent it from getting worse. This crisis is certainly beyond our means to address alone.”
“We appeal to the business community, here and abroad, to assist your brethren in need. I urge the Somali diaspora, particularly those whose family members and friends have been affected to reach out to your loved ones, ensure that they are safe and assist them if needed.”
Elsewhere in Somalia, the UN is reporting that nearly half a million people have been affected by the flooding in the low-lying areas of the Juba and Shabelle river basins. So far, nearly 175,000 people have had to flee their homes or shelters.