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Storms and flooding displace villagers in Gunagado, Somali Region

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File Photo/Ergo

(ERGO) – Rainstorms and flooding caused destruction of property and displacement of families in Gunagado district of Jarar zone in Ethiopia’s Somali region on Friday.

Over 800 pastoralist families were displaced from their homes, while 1,594 goats and 25 cows were killed in flooding.

Badal Ahmed, a pastoralist in Village 3, lost 10 of his 20 goats and was forced to move from his home after it was flooded by rainwater.

“I am with my children outside the flooded home. I threw out the dead goats. Some of the remaining ones are too weak to stand,” Badal told Radio Ergo by phone.

“The village has been inundated. You can’t see the land, only the tops of the trees.”

Badal said he and his children spent Friday night standing up in their shelter fearing that the floods would sweep them away. He said the storm had caught them unprepared and his priority was to save the children and his goats from the raging floodwaters.

Their dry food stocks were all washed away. They also lost all their bedding and household items.

“It is Ramadan and the little food we were surviving on has gone! I don’t know what I will feed my children now,” he said despairingly.

The head of the Disaster Risk Management Office in Gunagado district, Abshir Ahmed Mohamed, told Radio Ergo that four villages were badly affected by the floods. His office had registered 824 families displaced from their homes.

“It took us 24 hours to assess the extent of the damage. The rains have damaged the homes of the pastoralists,” said Abshir.

Families found themselves sitting or standing under the frames of their flooded homes, after roofing was blown off by the strong winds and swept away.

Abshir said his office could only manage to help 400 of the affected families with tents, food items and blankets.

“Still up to 424 affected families need assistance, but all we could get is something enough for 400 families,” he said.

He explained that the floods were caused by the heavy rain that raised the water levels in a dam near the village.

 

 

 

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