(ERGO) – After a month of sleeping rough, Shamis Abdullahi Yussuf and her family of seven were relieved to receive the first emergency aid distributed to recent flood victims by the disaster management office of Ethiopia’s Somali Region.
“The aid has reached us when we need it most because we were sleeping hungry in the cold,” she said. “We are now cooking the food we received and sheltering under the tent from the rains.”
Shamis was given one bag each of rice, flour, and sugar, four litres of cooking oil, and a tarpaulin sheet, blankets and utensils on 23 May. They were among the 400 families identified as most needy among the 824 families displaced by floods that hit Gunagado district in Jarar zone on 27 April.
She had been cooking one meal a day for her family with food donated by a better off relative. Their two-roomed home was destroyed and everything inside it was washed away by the floods. She and her children, the youngest of whom is five years old, have been sleeping in a hut she built on the outskirts of Gunagado.
Shamis used to provide for her family by the sale of milk from her 20 goats. All of the goats drowned in the floods.
“The goats were my only wealth, now I have nothing. We appeal for urgent aid to get us back on our feet because we are living in poverty now,” she said.
Floods struck in various other parts of Somali region. The director of the disaster management office, Mohamoud Abdinur Sayid, told Radio Ergo they distributed aid to 3,000 displaced families across the region.
“We assessed the intensity of the situation and answered the urgent needs of the displaced families. This is just the start of the distribution. A lot is on the way to help those who didn’t receive aid this time round,” he said.
The director stated that more than 38,000 families in the Somali region had been displaced by floods following heavy rainfall. His office plans a second aid distribution in early to mid-June.
Abdiwali Hussein Fadal and his family of 10 were displaced by floods in Heegaale area in early May. Abdiwali lost his entire herd of 120 goats and their three-roomed home to the floods.
“Only 160 families here received the food distribution and we weren’t lucky enough to be among them. We were told our turn will come and we are waiting for it,” he said.
Abdiwali said he and three other families are being sheltered by his sister. His family has been surviving on food from a relative.