Somali president wades muddy water to access flood-hit town

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Somalia president wades through flooded streets

Somalia President Mohamed Abdulahi Farmajo on Saturday waded through knee-deep muddy waters to access streets of Beledweyne town which was recently nearly washed away by floods.

He reportedly ordered parliament to donate their salaries to relieve about 100,000 families affected by this disaster.

Beledweyne is a city in central Somalia. Located in the Beledweyne District, it is the capital of the Hiiraan province.

The town is situated in the Shebelle Valley near the Ethiopia border, some 210 miles north of Mogadishu.

President Farmajo shocked onlookers when he stepped in and paddled across flooded streets to coordinate rescue efforts in Beledweyne caused by floods.

The first footage that came out shows president Farmaajo walking through flooded streets to assess the destruction of property and give relief foods to affected families.

He thanked well-wishers for standing with Somalia, including, and mostly selfless citizens, for expressing a true sense of brotherhood and patriotism to be in solidarity with fellow citizens in Beledweyne.

President Farmajo, Speakers of the Lower House and the Upper House of the parliament and the Prime Minister had earlier announced to donate their salaries of October to the flood victims in the country.

The money will be handed over to the Emergency Commission.

The floods

More than 200,000 people, half of them children, have fled their homes following massive floods that have left most of a town in central Somalia under water, Save the Children said on Thursday.

People have been evacuated using tractors and boats from neighborhoods that have been submerged in water in Beledweyne town after days of rainfall and flooding, the charity said.

Thousands of residents in makeshift camps are in desperate need of food and water, the organization said.

Save the Children said its staff are working tirelessly screening children, but resources are inadequate to address the humanitarian scale of the problem.

“Somalia is on the front line of the climate crisis, and resources are being stretched to their limits,” Mohamud Mohamed Hassan, Save the Children Somalia Country Director said.

President Farmajo and his delegation walking through flooded streets

“The current needs are huge and we’re in danger of being overwhelmed if donors don’t step up urgently. Right now, our main concern is the potential health crisis, including cholera and malaria outbreaks, which are devastating diseases for children,” he added.

More than 85 percent of Beledweyne, home to an estimated 400,000 residents, has been inundated by floods, the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said on Monday following an assessment of the area by the UNHCR-Protection Return Monitoring Network (PRMN).

OCHA said three people, including two children were reported to have drowned after a river in the town burst its banks on Saturday due to the rains.

A boat carrying 20 people also capsized on the river, and many passengers are feared missing, the UN agency said in a report.

Floods from the river had destroyed farmlands, roads, and other infrastructure in surrounding areas, according to the UN agency.

The President of the Southwestern State H.E. Laftagareen has had a meeting with the entire humanitarian agencies operating in Baidoa and the Southwestern State Flood Emergency Committee, so as to deliver humanitarian aid to the floods affected people in Bardaale district.

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