(ERGO) – Flood-displaced farmer, Mohamed Mohamud Adan, 47, a father of six, has to go out begging to put together enough money for daily meals for his family living now in a camp in Bardale, Bay region.
“We don’t get food, it’s a struggle to get one meal in a day. There are no job opportunities, we are living in a terrible situation,” said Mohamed.
They have no bedding and live in a makeshift shack made of pieces of clothes and tree branches in Teesow camp.
They have not received any aid to help them with their urgent food or shelter needs.
Mohamed recalls how the rainfall they had welcomed towards the end of last year turned to devastating floods that wiped out all the maize, beans and sorghum growing on his four-hectare farm in Ooflow, 27 km from Bardale.
The floods also washed away the sorghum reserves they had put aside last July to see them through the dry season.
“The sorghum would have lasted us a long time, but it was taken away by the floods. My estimates for the losses I incurred is between $400-450,” he said.
Farmers in Bardale normally depend on rainwater for their farms and as the rainy season has lapsed, he cannot plant any new crops now.
Mohamed said this was the worst time they had ever experienced, unable to return home and having lost everything.
Sadiq Madey Ibrahim, 51, and his family are also destitute after the floods took away their property. He said he couldn’t get odd jobs and his family relied on one meal daily from his relatives in the area.
They are staying in Laan-Tugeer camp without any proper shelter having fled their home in Sey-dhelow village, 20 km from Bardale.
“We sometimes go to the town and see people we might know who came from Baidoa for instance. When you tell them about your situation, they might give you $2-3, then we get to buy a few kilos of food and can cook,” he said.
Siddiq noted that they lost 50 kg of food they had in store in the floods including, flour, rice and sugar. He was only able to salvage some sorghum.
They had been leading a stable life and enjoyed all three meals, but the floods have washed them into destitution.
“We didn’t have much when we got here, and when we arrived here the situation was already hard, help is from God, but we need aid intervention,” he appealed.
Siddiq, a father of six, said it was difficult to return to their village as they lost everything including their nine goats and three-hectare farm.
Bardale district commissioner, Abdi Sheikh Mad-doyow, said that his office couldn’t meet the needs of these flood-displaced families, but they had shared reports on the situation in the camps with the South West state government.
He said there were 3,000 displaced families in Bardale who fled floods last October that submerged their houses and sources of income. They need shelter and food aid until the next rainy season when they might be in a position to go back to work on their rain-fed farms.
“We need the aid workers wherever they are, and people in general, to stand up in support of these vulnerable people,” he said.