The local administration in Somalia’s Hiran region say 65,000 families have been displaced by massive flooding in and around the town of Beletweyne.
Heavy rains and the bursting of the banks of the river Shabelle have forced those whose houses were washed away or submerged to congregate in El-Jaale, on the eastern outskirts of Beletweyne, according to Sheikh Hussein, the Hirshabelle regional authority’s deputy chairman of social welfare.
Sheikh Hussein said they have collaborated with aid agencies to set up four camps to host the displaced in El-Jaalle area. Clean water, shelter material, and mobile cash transfers are being distributed by various agencies.
The families came from Bundaweyn, Kooshin, Hawo Tako and Howlwadag areas of Beletweyne. Some said they had stayed hoping the flood waters would subside but they became stranded as the downpours intensified.
Ethiopian and Djiboutian peacekeepers with the AMISOM forces and the Somali army evacuated many people to safety using military vehicles.
One man was reported to have been killed when he was electrocuted in the money exchange shop he was working in, as power returned after a 24 hour black out in the town.
Those remaining in the town are finding it hard to access clean water as sewage systems have been damaged and water sources contaminated.
Hundreds of students were preparing to sit their secondary school exams in the first week of May, but classrooms have been flooded.
Some of the people affected by the floods were displaced earlier this year after the river Shabelle ran completely dry. They are farmers who depend on the river for irrigation.