THE UNCT SOMALIA MONITOR
5 - 14 April 1998
As most areas of the flood-stricken southern Somalia are finally drying up, patches of flood water remain in the Lower Juba area and in other areas where flood-water has no outlet and can only recede by evaporation. During the week, primary "gu" rains started pounding the Juba Valley and some parts upstream in Gedo and Middle Juba regions. Despite concerns of devastating impact of any renewed rainfall, people have started planting for the season. Water and sanitation conditions remain poor in most areas and international agencies continue the draining and cleaning of wells as well as rehabilitation of water wells and boreholes in the flood affected areas. - Chlorination and general health awareness campaigns along with EPI activities continue throughout the flood-affected areas.
WHO reports that cases of cholera have risen to 9,078 to date with 375 deaths (case fatality rate: 4.1 %). Although the overall trend is on the decline, cases continue to be reported from Mogadishu and Merca. Malaria considers to be a major health problem in flood affected areas and measles cases continue to be reported from Mogadishu, Bay region and Middle Shabelle. Diarrhea continues to be widespread in many areas due to the consumption of contaminated water and the nutritional status of children has worsened in several areas. International agencies monitoring and assessing the situation report that an increase in the number of malnourished children has been recorded in several locations including Mogadishu (with exception of Medina district where the number of new admissions remained stable), Balad district , Merca, Qorioley, Afgoye, Kismayo, Bulla Xawa and Belet Weyne.
WFP Food Aid Distributions to the needy population gathers pace WFP reports that, from January to the end of March 1998, it supplied a total of 8,454 mt of relief food benefiting the most vulnerable people in Central and Southern Somalia. The agency says that in order to ensure that the food reaches the most vulnerable and needy people, it established 50 delivery locations in Lower and Middle Juba, Lower and Middle Shabelle, Hiraan, Gedo, Bay and Bakool regions. The commodities were distributed by more than 22 NGOs on the ground as well as by WFP staff in close collaboration with community representatives. During March, deliveries by road increased due to the fact that many roads opened up for traffic. However, the agency anticipates that deliveries by air might have to increase once again in case renewed rainfall will lead to the renewed closure of main roads.
SACB decries an upsurge of violence in Mogadishu On 9 April, the SACB protested strongly at the recent security incident in which humanitarian convoys were looted in Mogadishu, causing the death of several Somali escorts and the loss of at least 500 Mt of food items as well as drugs for 600 cholera victims and water pumps to provide clean water to at least 2000 people. In a statement,
RELIEF AND DEVELOPMENT BY OPERATIONAL AREAS.
SOUTHERN ZONE: Normal programme activities continued with emphasis of post-flood intervention and UNICEF reports that nutrition assistance was continued through the local Regional Health Board-managed Nutrition Center in Kismayo. Some 1,658 malnourished children referred from local MCH centres were provided with Supermix supplementary feeding supplies. Supplementary rations were also provided to malnourished children in other locations.
CENTRAL ZONE: Normal programme activities continued with emphasis on chlorination and immunization. According to WFP, the nutritional situation is improving in Baidoa and Dinsor compared to previous months WFP reports that food was supplied to the Mother and Child Health Care Centre through IMC in Baidoa and also to Dinsor and Qansaxdhere districts. UNICEF reports that it continued routine immunization programmes in the region and supported primary health care programmes run by the International Medical Corps (IMC) in Baidoa. UNICEF reports that five wells in Jowhar district have been rehabilitated and hand-pumps were fixed. Almost 4,000 villagers will benefit from this programme. While cases of cholera have declined in Merca, the number of malnourished children admitted to the hospital increased steadily during the last months. Most of the children are coming from the Jenale area near Merca and Qorioley district. The hospital, supported by COSV, reported that while it usually receives in average 15 children per month, the numbers had increased since December and had reached 70 for the month of March. The Qorioley Mother and Child Health Center presently takes care of 205 severely malnourished children. The joint SCF/OXFAM water and sanitation programme continues with 300 pit latrine slabs being manufactured and delivered to beneficiaries. SCF's agriculture team says that it nearly completed the distribution of 2,000 vegetable seed kits donated by FAO. More seeds will be supplied in near future by FAO and CINS. SCF reports that harvesting of the maize and sorghum planted in December, has begun. On the health side, both cholera treatment centres which were set up in the town, have been closed, and there are no reports of further cholera cases. Health education continues with assistance of UNICEF. Community leaders helped in gathering people together for hygiene education.
NORTHEAST: Normal programme activities continued. In March, UNICEF supported EPI programme continued in four private maternity centers in Bossaso town and the health staff conducted supervisory visits in 10 villages of Bossaso district. UNICEF is supporting the setting up of a Bossaso water project as the community members donate a land for the boreholes and tanks. Officials from UNICEF, UNDP/SRP, European Union and Regional Administration were present at the land acquisition ceremony which was held in March. Also, support to the primary education in the Northeast zone in terms of teacher training continued.
NORTHWEST: Normal programme activities continued. In March, medical supplies were distributed to nine MCH centers/OPDs and 25 health posts in Galbeed and Togdheer regions by UNICEF. In the education sector, UNICEF and CARE International NGO collaborated in school sanitation programme in three schools in Hargeisa. Also, supervision of the implementation of basic education in 35 Koranic schools as part of a pilot project undertaken by UNICEF in cooperation with the administration in "Somaliland" continues.
On 7 April, Mr. Ali Mahdi and Mr. Hussein Aidid, accompanied by Messers Osman Ato and Mohamed Kanyare Afrah, arrived in Nairobi. They claimed that they wanted to raise funds to finance a joint administration for the Benadir region, including Mogadishu, and for the all-party national reconciliation conference scheduled for Baidoa on 15 May. In a statement to the press, they emphasized their commitment towards the peace process and wished to honour President Moi of Kenya to officiate the re-opening of Mogadishu's seaport and airport.
KISMAYO: The security situation remained quiet but tense as rival SNF/Marehan militia and SPM/Harti forces continue to clash on and off at around Madhomato, just 7 km outside Kismayo town. On 10 April, General Mohamed Hersi Morgan returns to Kismayo from Ethiopia after a two-month long tour of countries in the region. On 12 April, unidentified gunmen briefly kidnapped Mr David Steel, WFP airdrop coordinator in Southern Somalia, while on a mission at Beled Karim village, near Jilib town. The staff member was rescued by the elders of Jilib who rushed to the scene of the incident and released unharmed. The motive of the kidnappers remained unknown. Travel restrictions for UN planes and international staff to Kismayo and Sakow still remain in place.
GEDO: Overall security situation in the Gedo region remained tense as SNF forces brace for the re-capturing of El-Wak border town from the Al-Ittihad militia. On 11 April, a senior Al-Ittihad official in Mogadishu, Sheikh Mohamoud Moallim Nur, offerred a peaceful negotiation to the SNF in order to end the conflict in Gedo region.
BAY/BAKOOL: The situation in Baidoa and Hoddur towns remains tense. On 13 April, traffic between Mogadishu and other parts of southwestern Somalia slowed down due to reported increase of banditry and seizure of trucks by rival militia groups in those areas.
: Mogadishu remains tense with an increase in isolated banditry activities. On 15 April, an ICRC aircraft was attacked upon landing at Islaey airport in North Mogadishu. Preliminary reports indicate two crew members and eight passengers are being held. On 9 April, armed looters attacked Umul Qura primary school run by the Egyptian Education Mission in north Mogadishu, ransacking the building and looting school supplies and educational equipment. Reports said at least three people died in a shootout between the school guards and the looters. On 11 April, the school reportedly resumed classes following an intervention by the USC/SSA authority who managed to recover some of the looted materials and Islamic Sharia court militia were deployed in the area to ensure the security of the school and Egyptian teachers. On 12 April, a giant sea whale was washed ashore in the coastal town of Merca. The reasons behind the death of this large sea mammal has not been established. Suspension of international staff travel to Mogadishu is in place due to interruption of the communication systems in UNICEF, WFP and UNDP compounds. The main seaport and airport remained closed.
JOWHAR/BELED WEYN: Jowhar, Beled Weyn, and related villages remained quiet. On 11 April, at least one person was killed and two others were injured in a shootout between rival sub-clan militia around Jowhar hospital. The hospital which is run by the INGO, Inter-Sos, has since been closed down. Reports indicate that later in the day, clan elders intevened and brought the situation back to normal.
BOSASSO/NORTHEAST: The security situation in Bossaso, Garowe, and Galkayo remained quiet. On 11 April, clan elders from south Mogadishu flew to Hobyo to pacify a renewed conflict between the two dominant sub-clans in the area. Reports indicate that the rival militia were separated and peace was restored in the area. The fighting was reportedly related to the killing of lobster exporter in Mogadishu by unidentified gunmen a week earlier.
HARGEISA/NORTHWEST: The situation in Hargeisa, Berbera and Borama remained quiet.
A. Travel of international staff to Mogadishu is suspended due to interruption of the communication system. At the moment, UNICEF, UNDP, and WFP repeaters are all non-functional.
B. Travel to Mogadishu, Bay, and Bakool regions remains restricted on the basis of UN Phase 5 status.
C. Travel to these areas requires approval of both the UN Designated Official and UNSECOORD.
D. Travel of UN International staff to Sakow and Jamame is prohibited until further notice.
E. Travel to Kismayo is being temporarily prohibited to international staff.
F. UN international staff road travel to Las Anod and Erigavo is restricted.
G. The Jowhar/Jalalaqsi road remains restricted to UN International staff.
H. Travel to Somalia by UN international staff requires prior security clearance from the Designated Official.
I. The Garisa-Dadab road in Kenya is closed to traffic due to high incidents of banditry, but for Garisa based operations, all convoys must have a prior security clearance and accompanied by one escort vehicle.
J. Each UN vehicle must make sure that it is equipped with HF radio.
by the United nations coordination unit (UNCU), in collaboration with the Chief Security Advisor. United nations country team (UNCT) SOMALIA MONITOR is issued out of various reports received from the field. It does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the United Nations. Queries and submissions should be forwarded to the UNCU, Facsimile No: (254-2) 448439 and Telephone No: (254-2) 448434
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