Deaths and injuries scar Somali families caught up in tropical cyclone

Jamaal Abdilaahi Elmi had to bear the agony of burying his daughter , 18, in Balliga on 22 May. This village, 52 km west of Lughaya in Awdal region, was hit by the cyclone Sagar that caused devastation across the northern parts of Somalia.

Jamaal told Radio Ergo that his daughter had been married for just two months. She was washed away by tides of flood water that inundated her house. Her body was found five km away after a day of searching.

Jamaal Abdillahi, 60, has taken his other nine children to higher ground in the mountainous rural areas. This devastated father spoke to Radio Ergo by phone.

“We discovered she was missing late at night, and we started to search for her in the morning,” he said. “Now we don’t have anything, no utensils, we collected some cooking pots from the flood debris, and we don’t even have shelter.”

He lost 100 goats and three cows as well as his entire plantation of watermelons, pumpkins and different fruits.  His four hectare piece of land is now muddy and bare.

Jamaal confirmed that they received some food aid from the Somaliland administration.  They received 25kg of rice, 25kg of flour, 25kg of sugar and five litres of cooking oil that was delivered by helicopter.

Most of the people affected by the cyclone have not been able to go back home. Jamaal’s family and around 100 others are living in makeshift shelters.  His wife is sick with a fever but the closest health centre is 72 km away in Borame and they have no money to pay for transport.

Another cyclone victim, Hamud Muse Sidci, said his wife narrowly escaped being carried away by the flood waters.

“It was at dusk when we broke our fast – she was hanging on to a tree 100 metres away, I ran down the valley and saved her while she was hanging on to the tree branches,” said Hamud.

His wife Maryan, 42, broke her right hand and right leg. Hamud used traditional methods to fix her broken limbs hoping they will heal.

“We have been battered by the sun in the daytime and cold nights here. We don’t have clothing, proper shelter or utensils, the only thing we can do is to move to the towns but we don’t even know how to get there,” said Hamud.

Somaliland reported that 167,000 families have been displaced in Sagar cyclone, most of them still displaced in mountainous areas.

Source: Radio Ergo