(ERGO) – About 1,600 families have been displaced and property destroyed after three weeks of flooding hit Bulow neighbourhood in Hudur, in the southwest of Somalia.
The district commissioner of Hudur, Mohamed Moalim Adan, said the floodwater came pouring down from an area 40-45 km away.
“The floods were continuing day and night, and the people were not aware or prepared. The floods were caused both by the rainfall here and because the floods travelled downriver from outside the town,” he said.
Families who were displaced by the floods are mostly living with relatives elsewhere, or have put up shelters made of sticks and cloth on higher pieces of land.
Ayuro Mohamed Kheyre and her 10 member family were flooded out of their house on 4 November and lost all their belongings and foodstuff. Their four goats drowned.
They are camped in areas on the outskirts of the town with other families, without mosquito nets.
“On the night of Monday we were woken up by water. We called our relatives [by phone] to come and rescue the children and us,” she said. “We have no one to support us here.”
Flood damage in Bulow has led to the contamination of fresh water sources.
“We are concerned about health risks as the water is mixed with waste from pit latrines that were flooded. The water in the wells is not safe,” the district commissioner said.
Abdullahi Mohamud Madker and his 12-member family is worried about his sick children.
He told Radio Ergo that the downpours lasted for 48 hours.“Flash floods have swept everything away, my house is empty; we have been struck by a disaster!” he told Radio Ergo. Three of his children are suffering from malaria. They have very little food and eat once a day if they can manage to find a place to cook.
The town gets food supplies from Beledweyne, which has also been devastated by river floods. Food has become short and prices have shot up for what is available.
A kilo of rice, sugar or flour has risen from 15,000 to 25,000 Somali shillings. People are finding it impossible to earn a living.
“Hunger is worse than being homeless. There is no food and no jobs,” said Nur Tahoy Mohamed.
South West state’s disaster response committee is already struggling to respond to the families affected by floods in Bardale town in Bay region.