(ERGO) – Flash floods after heavy rain on 3 and 4 April in Dollow, southern Somalia’s Gedo region, have left around 350 families already displaced by the earlier drought homeless once again.
Ali Ibrahim Mohamed, deputy leader of Kambaasa II IDP camp, said the families affected had their shelters washed away. They are being temporarily housed in one of three halls constructed by aid organizations last year, originally to shelter newly arriving families while they erected their huts.
Ali Ibrahim told Radio Ergo that the families arrived at the height of drought and had not considered raifall when they constructed their simple structures, using sticks, cloth, and cardboard.
The Gu rains have just begun and might continue until June.
Mohamed Adan Kerow, 55, a father of four children, told Radio Ergo the floods swept away all his belongings in his house, including his utensils, clothing and food – he had a kilo of maize and some beans. “We were taken by surprise by the heavy flood water that poured into our huts,” he said. It was late at night and he managed to take his children to safety but not his property.
Mohamed, a former agro-pastoralist, moved to Dollow at the height of the drought last July with his family by donkey cart from Wajid district in Bakool region. He said they set up their shelter where there was some space, not thinking it was lower ground that could be vulnerable to flooding.
Amino Mohamed Deqow, a single mother of four children, said they had no bedding or warm clothing.
“The area is still flooded and we cannot go back. I don’t know how we will get another place,” she said. Amino was displaced from Ufurow, Bay region, after their 32 cows died in the drought.
Those on higher ground in Kambasa II stayed safe and dry. The camp hosts 4,500 displaced families from Bay, Bakool and other parts of Gedo. Camp leaders say the last aid they received was last April. Some of the displaced people who spoke to Radio Ergo said they used to get food distributions from WFP. Most families earn small amounts of income from work such as laundry and market portering in Dollow town.