The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) on Tuesday donated non-food items, to help Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) affected by recent floods in Beletweyne district, HirShabelle State of Somalia.
The items, which included blankets, basins, mosquito nets and tarpaulins, were donated by Djiboutian and Ethiopian forces serving under AMISOM, to alleviate the plight of hundreds of people, forced to flee their homes to higher grounds due to floods, occasioned by heavy rains.
AMISOM Sector 4 Civil-Military Co-operation (CIMIC) officer, Lieutenant Ibrahim Yusuf Ahmed, handed over the donations to the HirShabelle State Minister for Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, Mohamed Ahmed Abdi.
“The items we have handed over to the district officials for distribution include 800 tents, 1000 blankets, 800 household utensils, and 800 plastic wash basins among others.
AMISOM Sector 4 will closely coordinate with both the district and other regional administrations in Hiran, alongside community groups including women and the youth, during emergency situations like floods and other climate change challenges,” said Lt. Ibrahim at the handover ceremony.
Present at the handover was the Deputy Governor of Hiran region in charge of Social Services, Sheikh Hussein Osman and other top district officials.
The HirShabelle State Minister Mohamed Ahmed Abdi, thanked AMISOM for the initiative, saying the donation would go a long way in improving the lives of people in the IDP camps, who are grappling with impacts of recurrent floods.
In addition to protecting the displaced families from anticipated harsh weather, the minister noted that the items will protect children from diseases like malaria and pneumonia.
“I am glad that this distribution came at the right time when there is fear of River Shabelle floods at a time when the IDPs need support. This will help to address the issue in advance instead of acting after the floods have struck,” said Mr. Mohamed.
On his part, the Deputy Governor of Hiran in charge of Social Services, Sheikh Hussein Osman, thanked AMISOM for the continued generosity towards the local population, especially in times of need.
“These items you see here have been donated by our AMISOM brothers who are always ready to support us again and we are grateful for the continued support. This month alone, on two occasions they provided medical supplies to the main hospital in Beletwyene,” said Mr. Hussein.
Mrs. Ifrah Mohamed Hared, the Coordinator of Ex-airstrip IDP camp located west of Beletweyne, appreciated the donation, but appealed for more support, noting that the local population is in dire need.
“We have received donations and we are grateful for the support to the flood affected populations. However, people are still in need, since many more people keep coming to the camps displaced by floods,” said Ifrah Mohamed Hared.
In Somalia, recent heavy downpours have triggered a new wave of riverine and flash flooding, affecting more than 191,800 people and inundating thousands of hectares of farmland in HirShabelle, South West and Jubaland States, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
Of the 191,800 people affected by the floods, 124, 200 have been displaced from their homes and forced to higher grounds to escape the floods. HirShabelle and South West States are the worst affected, with the biggest percentage of those affected as humanitarian needs keep rising.
The floods have been triggered by heavy downpours during the current Hagaa ‘dry’ season, amid fears that the situation may worsen.