Displaced flood victims in southern Somalia’s Bardale town surviving on tea

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Thursday October 31, 2019 – At least 6,000 families have been displaced in Badale in southern Somalia’s Bay region after flash floods caused by torrential rain hit the town.

Fadumo Moalim Abdirahman, from Horsed neighbourhood, said she spent the whole night of 20 October in her house, submerged in water. Youth from the local community, who were organizing search and rescue in the area, rescued her and her seven children, including three girls and four boys, aged from three to 12 years.

“I had a hut and iron-sheet house and all that we had in the house, food and utensils, were washed away. We are left with nothing, even my 12 hens died in the water,” Fadumo told Radio Ergo.

Fadumo and her family are now sleeping outside as they have no shelter.

“We came here for safety and there was no flooding here at the time. But we do not know if floods will reach us here. We have no food though we are getting a little from other people,” she said.

Meanwhile, Fidey Mohamud Isack’s family and dozens of others are surrounded by water in Axmed-gurey surburb of Badale and have no sanitation facilities.

They moved to a nearby area of higher ground.

Fidey told Radio Ergo they had nowhere to sleep and had barely eaten for the last seven days. She said they were surviving on tea using the few kilos of sugar and tea that was all they had managed to rescue from the floodwaters.

“We have no mattresses and utensils, we just ran for our dear lives!” she said.

Siraji Yussuf Sheikh, a wholesale trader in Bardale, told Radio Ergo that his stock of 120 bags of sugar, rice and flour worth $4,000 was destroyed by the floods.

“We cannot open our stores because they have been inundated with water by the flash floods and we are yet to get support,” he said.

Bardale district commissioner, Mohamed Isack Hassan, told Radio Ergo that several suburbs of the town remained under water since the flooding occurred on 20 October.

He said 240 goats were known to have drowned and countless food stores and houses were submerged. A fuller picture was not yet available.

“The floods which hit Bardale town flowed all the way from Shabelow, which lies 50 km away from the town. It affected about 80 shops and we are in a difficult situation. We were expecting the rains but not floods,” the district commissioner said.

The floods affected four suburbs, forcing many families to flee their homes. Roads were flooded making transport and movement impossible.

Displaced families settled in an open area on the outskirts of town, while some others moved to nearby villages.