Following an armed conflict between Alshabaab fighters and Biyamaal clan, Al-Shabaab has forced entire communities in Lower Shabelle to abandon their homes. As a result, an estimated 9,000 households have fled from 8 villages to various places including KM50 where they sought refuge at AMISOM/Somali government controlled areas.
Furthermore, the group has cut-off supplies to Lower Shabelle by blocking the main road that Links the region to Mogadishu thereby disrupting trade and making humanitarian response nearly impossible.
Humanitarian Impact and Needs
The forceful eviction of communities from their localities has coincided with a worrisome humanitarian situation in Lower Shabelle where repeated conflict, droughts and limited humanitarian intervention have contributed to harsh living conditions among vulnerable communities in the region. In a rapid assessment conducted SYPD has learnt the following gaps which require urgent response:
Access to adequate shelter conditions remain severely limited. New IDPs both live in the open or under rudimentary shelters and hence are exposed to harsh weather conditions. Children, the elderly and the sick are particularly vulnerable.
Likewise, access to food and safe drinking water is limited. No adequate food distributions have been conducted since the crisis, leaving displaced communities face looming food security crisis.
Fresh IDPs at KM50 have no access to sanitation facilities and this has led to open defection which threatens communities with disease outbreaks. The elderly, especially the women, are forced to walk extra miles for defecation which expose to them to sexual and gender based violence.
Due to access difficulties, no adequate humanitarian response has been launched to date. Access will remain difficult for the foreseeable future due to ongoing road closures. However, for those organizations who can manage to respond, SYPD recommends the following:
In light of the above analysis, SYPD proposes an integrated, multi-sectoral humanitarian response to avert imminent humanitarian crisis among affected communities. The following interventions will likely address most urgent community needs:
1. Distribution of Non-Food Item kits (NFI) to provide relief to stressed households, especially those living under deplorable shelter conditions;
2. General food distributions;
3. Construction of emergency latrines to enhance hygiene levels and avert disease outbreaks.
For more information on the situation and response, the following SYPD focal point maybe contacted:
Maryam Mohamud Aden