SOMALIA: Cholera epidemic fears in Hiran as severe flooding forces families to flee their homes

Published: May 1, 2018

[TG] A potentially lethal epidemic of cholera and other disease is set to sweep parts of Somalia and Kenya after severe flooding left hundreds of thousands homeless in the two countries, aid workers have warned.
The Somali prime minister, Hassan Ali Khaire, appealed for international humanitarian intervention after two of the largest rivers in the centre of the country – the Shebelle and the Juba – burst their banks, sending floodwaters coursing through riverside towns and villages.
More than 100,000 people were forced to flee Beledweyne, a town in the Shebelle Valley 206 miles north of the capital Mogadishu, over the weekend, local officials said.

Hundreds of thousands more, including 174,000 in the town of Baidoa, are struggling to survive in partially flooded homes.
But it is in some of the country’s makeshift camps, where up to 2m Somalis fleeing fighting in one of the world’s most fragile states, where concern is highest.
“Our staff on the ground have seen the elderly, women and children struggling to survive while their flimsy shelters are knee-high full of stagnant water,” said Victor Moses, Somalia country director for the Norwegian Refugee Council, a charity.
“With limited access to proper toilets and clean water, it’s a ticking time bomb for disease outbreaks like cholera and malaria.”

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