(ERGO) – Abdiqani Ibrahim Said and his family of seven have been sleeping rough up a mountain for the past week after their home in Hegale, 150 km from Wader town in Ethiopia’s Somali region, was partly demolished by floods.
“The whole village has been submerged by water. My shop, my house, our clothes and the utensils were all washed away by the floods,” said Abdiqani.
The family has been depending on cooked food given to them by pastoralist families living in the highland area around the mountain. The adults have been breaking their fast with water on some days because the donated food is hardly enough even for the children.
Abdiqani lost 40 goats and his four-roomed house that contained a small shop in flooding following downpours on 1 May. He used to earn more than four dollars in profit daily from the shop.
“We have nothing at the moment, and we don’t know when we will go back to our flood-ruined home. We ask for immediate assistance from aid organisations,” he appealed.
Another flood victim, Adan Mohamoud Ibrahim, has been sharing food with a relative in the rural area. Adan and his family of eight lost 60 goats and their two-roomed home in the floods.
“The rain began at 9pm and lasted until early morning. Everyone just tried to save themselves and their children. No one remembered to take any utensils and food,” said Adan.
Hegale commissioner, Siyad Mohamed Osman, told Radio Ergo that 600 families were displaced by the floods in Hegale. The local school and health centre were closed after being inundated.
The commissioner said he is concerned about food shortages as the displaced families all came empty handed.
“More than 100 shops and food stores as well as 800 goats were washed away by the floods,” he stated.
Hegale authorities are working out a plan to clean up the village and remove the carcasses of the goats and other debris.
“There is a danger of a disease outbreak as the dead goats are still in the floodwater. We sent people to clear them out of the water,” he said.
Although the rains have eased, the displaced families sheltering under trees in an open field remain vulnerable to further downpours.