International charity on Friday called on donors to urgently provide humanitarian aid to some 140,000 people including 70,000 children in the Hiraan, central region of Somalia, who have been forced to flee rising floodwater to higher grounds.

Save the Children warned that the flood-hit Somalis are in desperate need of clean water, food, temporary latrines and shelter, according to a statement issued in Mogadishu.

“If the banks of the Shebelle River overflow, it will devastate children and their families who are already struggling with major food insecurity,” said Mohamud Mohamed Hassan, Save the Children Somalia country director.

He said floods have already disrupted services by limiting people’s movements, destroying local markets, education and health facilities.

“Thousands of vulnerable people living along the riverbank have already fled and we are extremely concerned about the welfare of tens of thousands more who are yet to evacuate,” Hassan added.

According to the charity, a further 300,000 people, including about 150,000 children in Beledweyn town and the surrounding areas of the Hiraan region, could be forced to relocate over the coming days if, as predicted by the Somalia Water and Land Information agency, the Shebelle River reaches the flooding threshold.

Save the Children said it is working with the government to support affected communities and urged the international community to release resources to support displaced children and families.

Mobile clinics are urgently needed to manage the anticipated disease outbreaks as a result of flooding.

Tens of thousands of flood-hit families in Hiraan urgently need humanitarian aid. According to the charity, an estimated 140,000 people, including some 70,000 children, in the Hiraan region of Somalia who have been forced to flee rising floodwater to higher grounds are in desperate need of clean water, food, temporary latrines and shelter.

“We know flooding is imminent and yet we do not see immediate plans and resources being released by the international community to support the affected populations. This is very concerning. The people of Hiraan need support now before it’s too late,” Hassan said.

He said repeated successive droughts in the region have led to soil depletion, with flooding likely to cause further topsoil erosion and further damage the fertility of the land. Enditem


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