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Heavy rains flood flimsy IDP homes in Mogadishu’s Sigale village

Wednesday August 11, 2021

Floods in Mogadishu's Hodan district displace hundreds of IDP families/Rijal Mohamed Abdi/Ergo

(ERGO) – Around 300 internally displaced families in Mogadishu’s Hodan district have been left homeless by flooding caused by days of rainfall in the Somali capital.

Mumino Mohamed Hassan, a widow with four children, has been living with another displaced family on higher ground after her house was washed away on 5 August.

“We cook and spend our day outside here. Both children and elders sleep here during the day,” said Mumino, who was living in Alle Aamin IDP camp in Sigale.

She has not been able to leave her children to go out to find laundry jobs because she fears they might roam near the flooded lake near the camp. They are reliant on whatever food they get from their host family, whose mother works in Bakara market as a labourer.

Crammed into one small room with the host family, Mumino said she only managed to carry utensils and the children’s clothes from their flooded home. Ever since arriving in Mogadishu in 2015 from Marka in Lower Shabelle region, where her vegetable shop was burned down in a conflict, she has faced problems during the rainy season.

“We don’t have tents and mosquito nets. We don’t have food and the waste from the toilet has flooded our homes. We need help,” she stated.

Mohamed Nur Ahmed, the chairman of the IDP camps in Sigale, said the floods are caused by rainwater from Hodan, Holwadaag and Waabari districts that drain into the low-lying swampy area.  Nearly 1,000 families live in 28 IDP camps in Sigale. Thirty of their flimsy huts were destroyed in the recent floods.

“It was raining for five days and we haven’t seen any help yet. We don’t have tents to house the affected families. Everything has been washed away by the floods,” he said.

“We don’t even have a facemask! They have been washed away.”

Saido Farah Mire, a widowed mother of three living in Alle Aamin camp for the last three years, also lost her home. She is sheltering under the ruins of an old perimeter wall she covered with plastic bags.

As she was out at work doing laundry jobs when the heavy rains began, she did not manage to salvage any utensils, food, or other belongings from the floods. Her children were evacuated by the neighbours.

She worries that disease could break out as people are huddled together without toilets. Their efforts at maintaining social distance for COVID19 prevention have all been undone.

Saido used to run a shop in Afgoye, Lower Shabelle, where floods in 2019 washed away her home and business.


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