Devastating floods stirred by the outburst of the Shabele River has displaced approximately 11 thousand families in Jowhar, Middle Shabelle region, Somalia, causing one of the worst humanitarian crises in the region. The flooding steadily started early April 2013 but during September spread to dozens of villages in Jowhar mainly inhabited by a predominantly peasant Somali Bantu regarded politically as one of the minor clans in the country. The disaster affected mainly women, children and elderly
The main challenge facing the community is lack of food and shelter. The victims of the river flood are predominantly peasants (small scale farmers) whose farmlands were destroyed and the crops were washed away by the severe flooding of Shabelle river. The victims are mainly the Jareer (Somali Bantu) clan/tribe regarded as one of the minor tribes in Somalia. Moreover, these people face discrimination and human rights abuses being committed by major clans in Jowhar and surrounding areas.
The project will provide food, cooking oil as well as shelters for 150 female-headed families. Each family consists of between 5-10 members of very poor elements of the communities. Before the current river flood disaster, the lives of these people mainly depended on farming and rearing of chickens. Most of the victims are women, children and elderly people.The victims deserve special attention and care not only in relief and emergency but also in recovery programs.
The long-term effects of the project will be to save now the lives of these people which is in a danger due to lack of shelter and food, so that they will be able to resume normal life in the near future when the river water subsides. In addition to the need for food and shelter, SOVA staff in the field also reported severe malnutrition for children and women. Besides the emergency assistance, they will need a recovery program to help them start farming once again to restore full normalcy.