I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO ANYMORE- THE AGONY OF BELEDWEYNE FLOOD VICTIMS

Thursday 7 November 2019

 

I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO ANYMORE- THE AGONY OF BELEDWEYNE FLOOD VICTIMS

By Saddam Hussein Carab

 

Until the recent floods which landed in Beledweyne town of Hiran region, Somalia, Halimo Isaq had an ok life. She lived in Hassan Qurac settlement for Internally Displaced People. (IDP) in Beledweyne town, doing the best to survive.  Although life was tough for her, she worked hard to feed her children and grand-children.  Halima raises 13 children—eight grand-children from her late eldest son and  five of her own.  She survived by doing house work, including washing closes for families in Beledweyne town. Each day she would earn few dollars to get some food for her family.

Now, Halima is devastated. She was forced to relocate to a temporary IDP site when the floods came and destroyed their settlement. They were able escape with nothing but the clothes on their backs. Most of her clients and the people who supported her have also been displaced. Now she has nothing to keep her going.

“Our lives depended on me working. Each day I would get some money after washing clothes and doing other household chores. I used the money to buy food for the family. I lost everything. I don’t even know what to do anymore.”

To ease their harsh conditions, one of Halimo’s grandchildren, nine-year-old Abdihakim Mohamed goes out to collect crops washed away by the floods and sales them to the other displaced families. He makes one or two Dollars a day.  But Halimo knows this is risky and not sustainable. Soon there will be nothing to find and she fears for the safety of his grandson. “It pains me to see my children suffer like this. We need food and clean water, just to survive here as we wait for our fate. ”

Before the flood, Abdihakim used to go to school.   “I saw my school filled with water. We all had to escape and come to this place to save ourselves. Most of my classmates are in this camp, others escaped to the other side of town. I really miss school. I hope I will go back there soon. Now I have to help my grandmother, we have to survive,” says Abdihakim.

The Beletweyne flood taskforce estimates that at least 45,200 households have been displaced due to severe flooding. The scale of the floods is large and the impact is estimated to be some of the worst the region has ever seen. Over 85% of Beletweyne town has been affected and many people’s homes have been damaged by the flooding.

Save the Children, through its Building Resilient Communities in Somalia (BRCiS) programme funded by DFiD were among the first responders to support displaced families like Halima. To date, the program has provided clean water through water trucking to at least 11,700 households, construction of temporary latrines as well as conducting hygiene promotion sessions for the affected communities. In the addition, the project will be supporting a total 800 households with unconditional cash transfers of USD 60 per months for the next three months.