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Widow of Somali fisherman killed by crocodile faces eviction

Thursday September 23, 2021

Halima is struggling to provide for her three young daughters after their father was killed by a crocodile/Maryan Sheikh Abdi/Ergo

(ERGO) – Halima Hassan Omar is on the verge of being evicted from her home with her three small daughters after her husband, a fisherman and the family breadwinner, was killed by a crocodile earlier this month in southern Somalia’s river Shabelle.

“We have accumulated 400,000 Somali Shillings ($20) for the two months we haven’t been able to pay. The landlady tells us every day to pay up or move out. I am poor, I can’t pay that money and I don’t know where to go,” Halima said.

This poor family depended on the sale of fish her husband caught in the river Shabelle. He was killed by a crocodile on 7 September while out fishing near their home in Jowhar.

Halima described how her husband, Ahmed Adan Bubale, went out to the river at 8 am to collect his net, which he set up in the river the previous evening to trap fish overnight.  He did not return home. The panicking family and friends started searching for him, asking everyone in the village to contact the family if they found him.

The next morning another fisherman found Ahmed’s body entrapped in his net. Halima identified his badly mauled and disfigured body.

“Sometimes I am overwhelmed by emotion, and I cry. People have been asking me to forget about him and forgive him, but how can I forget him. He was our only support,” she mourned.

“He provided for me and my mother-in-law, who lives with us. But now we are surviving on the little help we get from well-wishers.”

Her husband left no wealth as his own family was poor. She divides her time between her young daughters, the oldest being six, and her ailing mother-in-law, and cannot go out to look for work.  She is struggling to put together one meal a day.

“We cook whenever someone sends us something on EVC or brings us dry food. My husband didn’t have siblings; he was the only child of his parents. We ask for well-wishers to help us. I am struggling to feed the children, let alone paying the rent.”

Halima said her husband told her to prepare a cooking pan as usual when he left home for the last time.  She always cooked some of the fish he caught so he could sell it in the streets of Jowhar, while the family ate the rest.


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