Heavy rains in late October have caused widespread flooding in Somalia, displacing close to 270,000 people. The worst affected region is Hiiraan, in central Somalia, where Beledweyne district is flooded. People there have left their homes and have gone to seek shelter in higher areas. The main Beledweyne hospital is not functional due to the floods and the town is still flooded.
Gautam Chatterjee, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) representative in Somalia and Somaliland, gave the following statement today:
MSF sent a team to Beledweyne district to assess the conditions, and we see that people need everything.
The first needs are drinking water, toilets and latrines. We also see that people need food, shelter and urgent medical attention. We see medical conditions including diarrhea, vector-borne diseases and respiratory tract infections, and we are concerned about the possibility of an increase of malnutrition among children.
MSF has started distributing tents and kits for cooking, constructing toilets and providing safe drinking water. It is very important to quickly mobilize resources to help people in the affected areas. We also appeal to all parties to the conflict in Somalia to provide unhindered access to people in need.