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Friday, November 7, 2014

21,000 Somalis displaced by flooding

At least 21,000 Somalis have been displaced after floods hit Beletweyn, a city in the country's south-central region, according to the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM).

"Affected families have settled at temporary shelters at a camp close to the AMISOM base camp, North Eastern Beletweyne," Maj. Ali Hussein of the mission's Djiboutian contingent said in a Thursday statement.

"We are looking at how we can evacuate them or offer medication, but they need much more than that," he said.

"They are being provided with clean water with the use of water tankers, but they need food and medicine urgently," added Hussein.

"There is a possibility of a waterborne disease outbreak, and they don't have sanitation facilities," he warned.

Like much of the rest of the country, Somalia's south-central region has recently experienced heavy rainfall.

Those displaced by the flooding include children, expectant women, new-born babies and elderly people.

Somali government spokesman Ridwaan Abdiweli said the government intended to send humanitarian assistance to the affected region this week.

"The federal government is aware of the floods along the Juba and Shabelle rivers and the impact it is having on the people," he told Anadolu Agency.

"The local authorities in the Hiraan region have alerted us to what happened in Beletweyn today. We intend to send assistance by end of this week," said Abdiweli.

The government has also urged international relief agencies with access to flood-hit regions to help assist the thousands of people affected.

By Yassin Juma

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