EXTREME WEATHER BATTERS SOMALIA FORCING AT LEAST 100,000 CHILDREN FROM THEIR HOMES

Friday 1 November 2019

 

EXTREME WEATHER BATTERS SOMALIA FORCING AT LEAST 100,000 CHILDREN FROM THEIR HOMES

 - Fears of disease as infrastructure damaged and floods worsen in Beledweyne, with more rain predicted

- Tropical Cyclone Kyarr is expected to hit by the weekend bringing strong winds to Puntland and Somaliland

At least 200,000 people have been forced to flee their homes - including at least 100,000 children[i] - in the town of Beledweyne as heavy rains continue to fall across Hiraan and Bakool regions of Central Somalia

Save the Children teams on the ground are reporting whole neighborhoods underwater, with families escaping on tractors, via donkey cart, on boats and on foot. Tens of thousands of families are now living in makeshift camps in dire need of food, water and other basic necessities.

Nearly 85% of the residents of Beledweyne, normally home to nearly 400,000 people, have been affected by the floods according to the Somali Government. According to the Government, the situation has spread to other areas including Bardale, where flash floods due to heavy rains have affected at least 30,000 people. More rains are predicted over coming days, with warnings that floods will continue or worsen in Beledweyne and surrounding regions.

The main hospital in the Bardale is currently not functioning due to the floods, leading to fears of an outbreak of diseases such as malaria and cholera amongst children. Save the Children is preparing to deploy mobile health teams to affected areas in coming days to screen children for illnesses and provide nutrition and medical support to displaced communities.

Tropical Storm Kyarr is also expected to make landfall in Puntland and Somaliland before the weekend, with strong winds, rains and possible flash flooding[ii]. Save the Children is monitoring the storm’s progress and preparing to scale up its response.

The Government of Somalia has appealed to humanitarian actors for support to address the current crisis in Beledweyne and surrounds by increasing resources and services to affected communities.

Mohamud Mohamed Hassan, Save the Children Somalia Country Director said:

Somalia is on the frontline of the climate crisis and resources are being stretched to their limits. The worsening situation in Beledweyne and Bardale highlights just how vulnerable communities are. Save the Children was one of the first international NGOs on the ground, providing support to children and families as they scrambled to collect their belongings and reach higher ground. Our teams are working tirelessly to save lives and keep people healthy while they’re displaced, but we’re worried that things will get worse, quickly.

“The current needs are huge and we’re in danger of being overwhelmed if donors don’t step up now. Right now, our main concern is the potential health crisis including cholera and malaria outbreak which are devastating diseases for children. With the main hospital out of action and sanitation systems severely compromised, this is a recipe for disaster.”

Save the Children and its partners have been supporting affected children and their families in Hiraan and Bakool regions  by providing clean water, distributing food and hygiene kits, and installing over 100 temporary latrines.

 

ENDS

 

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