Wednesday, November 20, 2019
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Somalia’s United Front in Midst of Natural Disasters: Hirshabele Floods

By Abdihafid Mahamud Jama

As many of you have noticed floods and outbreak of emergencies have engulfed in the Somali regional state of Hirshabele, particularly Baladweyn causing untold damages and countless loss of lives. This is an on-going disaster that has devastated small businesses, homes, livelihoods and what is left of infrastructure in the region. 

Beledweyn, Hiiraan region

The task ahead must now be to rebuild these communities and prevent water-born diseases like cholera and other health risks that are associated with these types of flood disasters.

The outpouring support from Somali people and businesses across all Somalia’s regions has been exemplary and encouraging. Certainly, a lot more to do but this level of united front personifies our common compassion and purpose in the face of enormous challenges.

This level of resilience and support for a society with little resources to give is as much a continuation and strengthening of our deep bond and common responsibility to one another.

These shared goals must be further strengthen to reflect a wider political, economic and social common purpose that is central to our shared challenges and aspirations.

While this is certainly encouraging and forward looking, we must address the elephant in the room. These common disasters are predictable and frequent in nature. Our country experiences droughts, floods and crop failure during these changing environmental climate emergencies, yet at central government and local level, we make no effective preparations to help navigate these enormous challenges. In the smallest forms, we struggle to harness and contain our waters/rain by way of irrigation, leading to droughts and agricultural failure. 

The city of Beledweyn- underwater

The tragic irony is that we have flood waters damaging society in Hir/Shabele, but yet people are struggling to find clean water to drink in the midst of an emergency and disasters.

While I am sympathetic to the financial challenges our country and government faces with little scarce resources to confront further challenges, these monumental lack of policy planning and resilience management must be reviewed immediately.

We can no longer just sleep walk into one disaster to another, pretending help will come one day. This is lazy and proving dangerous on the ground. It is time we Somalis think and deliver for ourselves first.  

By Abdihafid Mahamud Jama
London England 
Email: [email protected]
Twitter @Abdihafidunivtv 

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