MOGADISHU (SoOHA) – Around 3,000 families have fled their homes in villages in Bal’ad in southern Somalia’s Middle Shabelle region, after a dam on the River Shabelle burst.
The floodwaters from the dam washed away homes in 16 villages, forcing people to seek help in the district town of Bala’d.
The family of Saa’ido Suileman Salah fled from Mukay-dhere village after the sudden gush of water destroyed their home. She told Radio Ergo that she managed to escape with four of her nine children, but she does not know the whereabouts of her husband and the other five children.
“The floods entered our home at night, we fled from our home to seek a safe place. I only have these four children and I do not know if the father and five other children are dead or alive. At night, we sleep in a cold and open area,” said Saa’ido, who spoke Radio Ergo by phone.
The mother of seven boys and two girls appealed to well-wishers and aid agencies to come to their aid.
Bal’ad district commissioner, Qasim Ali, told Radio Ergo that the dam burst on 2 December, causing the wave of flood-displaced to come to the town, which is located around 40 km northeast of the Somali capital Mogadishu.
The villages affected were Kulmisyarow, Raqaylow-buurdhere, Maqdas, Jame’o, Busle, Farbaraki, Damalay, Faay-duxul, Korebe, Yaqlow, Bulo-banan, Bulo-Siciid, Bulo-sheikh, Bulo-xanlay, Bulo-garweyn and Mukay-dhere.
“Nobody has assisted these families. We had directed each family to stay with their relatives in the town but there are those who do not have relatives here. The authorities, traders, and members of the community contributed some money to form two camps for those families. Those settled in the camps are 2,500 families,” he said.
The family of Ali Barsanji, the chief of Mukay-dhere, was also displaced by the dam burst. He told Radio Ergo that 1,780 families in his village were forced to flee their homes.
The chief – a father of 23 children, including eight daughters and 15 sons – said the floods destroyed his 12 iron-sheet houses, leaving his three wives and children with nowhere to sleep.
“I have nothing left; I was not able to get out with the water pumping motors, or the milling machine, even my vehicle was washed away. The houses all collapsed, the foodstuff and the utensils were washed away,” the chief told Radio Ergo.
Source: Radio Ergo