Jowhar, 30 June 2021 – Over 500 families living near Jowhar town, Middle Shabelle region, who were affected by recent severe flooding in the area have received emergency food and humanitarian relief in an effort coordinated by the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and HirShabelle State authorities.
Last month, riverine flooding following persistent torrential rains in HirShabelle State left hundreds of families displaced, washed away crops, and destroyed schools, roads and bridges.
According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, floods in the Middle Shabelle region displaced a total of 66,000 people across 27 villages, destroyed over 40,000 hectares of cultivated land and damaged sanitation and hygiene facilities.
Somalia is increasingly vulnerable to climate change, with climate-related events – mainly drought and flooding – having increased in frequency and intensity throughout the country, exacerbating humanitarian needs and undermining community resilience.
Consequently, through the HirShabelle State’s Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management provided emergency support to help the hundreds of families to cope with the devastating aftermath of the flooding.
During the food distribution exercise at the AMISOM base camp near Jowhar airfield, the HirShabelle State’s Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, Abdi Mahad Qoorgaab, said the food aid would give temporary respite to the displaced families.
“We have started distributing food to families displaced by the recent flooding of River Shabelle, which destroyed their livelihoods. At least 500 households have benefited from today’s distribution, although the number of displaced in this area alone stands at 12,000. The need exceeds the available quantities of food, but we decided to distribute what we have to the most affected,” the minister said.
The AMISOM deputy chief of civil-military cooperation, Major Dedith Katihabwa, noted that in the face of food security and livelihood losses suffered by the people, more needed to be done to avert a crisis in the region.
“The available quantities cannot cover all the vulnerable families. The need for food and non-food items is immense. We all need to push for more lifesaving help for the thousands of families that are in a desperate situation,” said Maj. Katihabwa.