Halima Sheikh Beddel, 50, and her family of five had to remain behind in Tawakal IDP camp as others were being evacuated after the tropical cyclone because she could not move with her elderly blind husband through the flood waters.
“We are in great difficulty, we don’t have food, we don’t have clothes, nothing!” Halima told Radio Ergo from the camp on the outskirts of Bosasso in north-eastern Somalia’s Puntland state.
“There’s nowhere to cook in this mud, our bedding was washed away, our hut is collapsing and we’re still in it. I couldn’t move the old man through this running water, and there is no one to help.”
Halima’s family, who were displaced 10 years ago by severe drought in the Somali region of Ethiopia, are among those awaiting assistance following the havoc wreaked by cyclone Gati in Bari region.
The Tawakal camp leader, Omar Elmi, said most residents had been temporarily relocated to Inji, a former government compound. They had received some food and tents, but needed more support.
“The displaced have been displaced again,” he told Radio Ergo. “We are waiting for the government and those in a position to help us.”
Ayan Mohmed Yusuf, a mother of three, said conditions in Inji were poor and they wanted to return to Tawakal camp as soon as possible.
“I’d like to have my previous house rebuilt so I can go back. Both my husband and I were daily wage earners, but here there is no work. It’s very crowded here and we fear for our health, especially the children,” she said.
Over in Ishkushuban district, where the cyclone first made landfall on 22 November, Maryan Afi Hussein said three rooms of their house in coastal Hurdiya had been destroyed. The family of six children were huddled in the fourth room, fearing it could collapse at any moment. Their shop had also been destroyed, leaving them without any income.
“It started as normal rain, then the winds picked and swept away everything in its path, damaging houses and destroying our livestock,” she said. Many residents of Hurdiya fled inland.
Radio Ergo spoke to a pastoralist, Abdullahi Ali Ahmed, who said only 25 of his 70 goats had survived the storm. He thought most families there had suffered similar losses of livestock. Trees and shrubs had been uprooted reducing grazing for the animals.