The International Committee of the Red Cross says that flooding in Beledweyne since May 2016, Somalia has displaced tens of thousands of people who are now in need of food and safe drinking water.
The flood is a result of heavy rains in the upper part of the Ethiopian highlands that have caused river Shabelle to overflow. The flood waters have destroyed crops and fields remain inaccessible.
Shafi Ibrahim, a local elder, told the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) “The flood has destroyed almost everything. The majority of the community here operates a small business in a local market. They could no longer work as the place is submerged with water. We do hope in a month’s time it will dry up and we can start rebuilding our lives.”
The ICRC and the Somali Red Crescent Society (SRCS) are distributing emergency assistance to more than 30,000 people to alleviate the effects of the flood.
The ICRC and SRCS carried out a five-day distribution this week of rice, oil, beans, and mosquito nets.
“This flooding is the worst in years. It covered most of the town and surroundings. As the people move to higher grounds, they are in need of everything. The ICRC is providing food and other basic items, clean water and health care to the most affected communities. This will enable them to hold on as they start to rebuild their homes,” said Albert Jabre, the region’s field coordinator for the ICRC in Somalia.
Approximately 100,000 aqua tabs were distributed with each family receiving 20 tablets, enough to last them for one month. One tablet can purify 20 litres of drinking water.
Beletweyne hosts 31,000 displaced people, the majority of whom have fled conflict in the neighboring districts of Jalalqsi and Bulle Burte.
The residents who live in a low-lying areas have moved to higher ground in El Jaale, five kilometres from Beledweyne.
Photos of the Floods in Beledweyne
Shabelle River, Beledweyne - May 15 to June 1, 2016
The exact end date of the overflowing of the Shabelle River is unknown.