Thursday, January 23, 2020
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Youth step in to avert river floods in southern Somalia’s Afgoye town

Community youth group stacking sandbags to prevent the river Shabelle flooding parts of Afgoye town/Ahmed Sabriye/Ergo

A group of Somali youth in Lower Shabelle’s agricultural town, Afgoye, have joined hands to build flood-barriers to protect their farms and houses from river floods.

Flooding has already forced some families to evacuate their houses in Aytire and Balgure neighbourhoods alongside the river Shabelle.

Sid-Omar Siidow, the group leader, told Radio Ergo that they had a team of 28 young men working to position sandbags at weak spots along the riverbanks. They have so far sealed off four weak sections that have flooded before.

The group say that Balgure is the most vulnerable area, where it is feared the river may breach its banks.

Another youth group has pitched in to prevent floods in Sagalad village on the outskirts of the town.

Sid-Omar called on the administration and international agencies to build permanent embankments and rehabilitate damaged canals.

Afgoye assistant district commissioner, Abdullahi Hassan, said the local administration has given the youth some money and empty bags to fill with sand.

“They are doing a good job for the town, we urge them to continue the work,” he said.

Mursal Abukar Ahmed, a local elder, said he is concerned about the recurrent nature of floods in recent times, complaining that maintenance and rehabilitation of the riverbanks had been neglected since the fall of the central government in the 1990s.

“Every year, the river used to cause floods during Siad Barre’s government, but the government used to bring in bulldozers to make embankments and at that time everything was manageable. But the floods these days come one after another, causing displacement and destruction of property,” he said.

Source: Radio Eargo

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