Friday, July 15, 2011

Torrential rain kills 5, including 3 children in Mogadishu amid country-wide drought, Somalia - 15th July 2011

Three children of Somalis who fled the drought-stricken Bay and Bakol regions were among five people who died in a torrential rain in Mogadishu on Thursday.

An elderly woman and man also died in the rain, which started on Wednesday.

“The (internally displaced persons) were living in a wide open location lacking shelter from downpour and hot sun,” said Hawa Ali, an IDP in the Hamerwein district where a child and the two elderly people died.

In the Dahrkenley district of Mogadishu, two children died during the downpour, said Moalim Abdulle, the district commissioner.

“These people died because cold as they were not protected and were without proper shelter,“ said Abdulle.

The rain also affected the movement of people, transport and business, as well as the delivery of aid supplies to the IDP camps, as roads in the capital became impassable.

“In the last 24 hours, residents could not come out from their homes and were indoors because of the heavy shower,” said Abdikadir Mohamed, a Mogadishu resident.

Thousands of Somalis from regions outside Mogadishu are camped along street corners and in abandoned buildings in the capital.

About 10 million people are affected by the drought amid fighting in the country between al-Shabaab militants who seek to overthrow the government, which is backed by African Union peacekeeping forces. Source