The puzzling and erratic impact of flooding on the lives of disabled individuals in Galmudug

The Puzzling And Erratic Impact Of Flooding On The Lives Of Disabled Individuals In Galmudug

Tuesday June 20, 2023

Kaydka Ergo

In a state of utter perplexity and confusion, Hassan Mohamed Ali finds himself confined to the walls of his house in Dhusamareb, central Somalia, since the month of May when the forceful deluge of flash floods severed all access routes. The incredibly unfortunate circumstance of being physically disabled grinds his daily routine to a complete halt, preventing him from reaching his meager shop which serves as the sole means of livelihood for his family.

Under normal circumstances, Hassan manages to scrape together a mere three dollars per day, just enough to provide meager sustenance for his wife and brood of seven children. However, the floods have ravaged not only his source of income but have also caused extensive damage to the food stocks he had on display. Hence, the family now finds themselves facing dire scarcity in terms of food supply.

In a state of exasperation, Hassan sorrowfully stated, “The issue at hand is the absolute lack of food resources due to the flooding. There is no one to lend a helping hand, no organization extending support, and not even a single soul visiting to provide solace. Consequently, all I can do is remain imprisoned within the confines of my own home.”

The height of the floods compelled Hassan’s family to seek refuge with relatives for a month, eventually returning to their home on June 3rd as the receding waters allowed them passage. To their dismay, they discovered their abode, constructed from a blend of concrete, wood, and corrugated iron, had suffered partial erosion.

“I am left with no choice but to plead with those close to me for a loan, promising to restore their funds once the floods subside and I can resume work. Beyond the external flooding, the water inundating our residence and shop presents an immense predicament,” lamented Hassan.

Six years ago, following the paralysis of his left leg inflicted by a gunshot wound during armed militia clashes in 2013, Hassan launched his business with financial backing from his kin. He now appeals to the Dhusamareb administration to take action in addressing the floods, enabling the revival of commercial activities.

Meanwhile, the plight of Nadifo Hashi Jaynani, rendered immobile in both legs, highlights the unparalleled burstiness and confusion that has befallen her life. Her usual practice involved imploring food from stall owners at the market in order to nourish her five children. Regrettably, the raging floods have severed their only source of sustenance.

“Whatever scant supplies I managed to secure from businesswomen would be transformed into a meager meal for my children, be it half a kilo of pasta or a portion of potatoes. Now, even that has slipped through my fingers. The incessant water has shackled me to my home since the torrential rainfall commenced,” she sobbed.

Nadifo, widowed and burdened with immense financial woes, has found herself compelled to beseech her less affluent mother residing in Mogadishu to send them money sufficient for one meal per day. Stranded within their abode, she and her two eldest children, whose assistance involves pushing Nadifo’s wheelchair, find themselves in a state of helplessness.

“As a result of my husband’s passing, I must now fulfill the role of both mother and father, and yet I too have succumbed to this insurmountable predicament,” she articulated with a heavy heart.

Nadifo’s immobilization stems from an accident that transpired two decades ago. In 2011, the family relocated from Mogadishu to Dhusamareb, seeking respite from the perils of insecurity and financial hardship. After losing her husband, the primary breadwinner, three years ago, Nadifo resorted to begging in the market as a last resort.

The chairman of the disabled association in Galmudug, Ahmed Isse Abdi, divulged to Radio Ergo that the floods in Dhusamareb have disproportionately affected the 650 disabled individuals residing in the region. Some have been forced to leave and are unable to return for fear of further inundation.

“To the best of our knowledge, at least 35 disabled individuals sustained injuries as a result of the floods. Around 150 people remain displaced from their homes and have not yet been able to return,” Ahmed disclosed.

Moreover, disabled individuals dwelling in other towns within Galmudug, such as Guriel, Adado, Balanbale, and Galkayo, continue to grapple with the predicaments imposed by the relentless downpour.