SEPADO Appeals For Aid To Somalia's Flood Victims

( El Nino plays havoc on Somalia )

 Nearly twenty days of torrential rains have brought the worst flooding in more som_cnn4.jpg (13819 bytes)than three decades to Somalia, wracking the country and its people that already had more than their share of civil wars and recurring droughts said by SEPADO, Somalia Environmental Protection and Anti Desertification Organization.

 These type of rains with such high magnitude of destruction and floods are the worst we have seen in the region since 1960, causing the death of over thousand people and wiped out tens of thousands of livestock, farms and villages. Some of the villages are completely under water. When you fly over the region, all you can see are the tips of the roofs.

 Due The absence of government, only few places have been visited and the rest of the country is beyond reach and can't be accessed, thus the major problems is that nobody knows the actual effect of these flooding.som_cnn1.jpg (10687 bytes)

 The few International agencies that operate in Somalia region are doing well in evacuating and distributing food and blankets to the needy people, however due to the large scale of the problem, Nomadic nature of Somalis and absence of transport for such situation like helicopters, air canoes etc. most of the affected areas have not been attended to.

 Thousands of people have been affected. Many have lost their homes and their crops and are now displaced. These rains were preceded by a major drought, andsom_cnn5.jpg (10363 bytes) the combination of the two weather events could have a disastrous impact on a rural population which was already fragile.

 The rains, which are believed to have been caused by the weather phenomenon El Nino, have caused the Juba & Shabelle Rivers to burst their banks in several locations. Every year, extreme climatic problems occur around the globe, with droughts in some places som_cnn3.jpg (9700 bytes)and floods in others. Recently, we have come to recognize that some of these widely dispersed climatic extremes might have a common origin in the occasional warming of sea surface water in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean and Indian Ocean. These changes are known as EL NINO.

 It is estimated that over 1000 persons have died and that about 1,000,000 are directly affected. People have taken shelter on small islets, others are clinging to tree branches while the rains are still falling in the area. Food stocks usually stored underground, are devastated and livestock have perished.

 Access is rendered very difficult as roads are flooded, bridges are underwater or washed away, and only 2 airstrips are open in more than four flooded regions. The flooding is estimated to be the worst since 1961, and in the Juba & Shabellesom_cnn2.jpg (14129 bytes) rivers area has spread hundreds of kilometers wide.

 Initial surveys indicated that floods have destroyed the homes and the irrigated crops of thousands of families as well as washed away many roads, trapping people in the vicinity of their flooded villages.

 SEPADO, Closely monitoring the international meteorological data and forecasting obtained from FEWS "Famine Early Warning System, USA based Meteorological center" believes it will continue to rain for ten more days, causing more floods and risking the lives and homes of many.

 SEPADO, appeals to all gulf countries, Charity organizations, Somalis and Expats Communities to come to the rescue of these poor displaced people.