MOGADISHU (Kaab TV) – The relentless onslaught of Shabelle River floods has plunged the neighborhoods of Beledweyne, in the Hiiraan region, into a deepening crisis, bringing essential services to a grinding halt for over half a million residents and nearby areas.
At the heart of the calamity is the closure of Beledweyne’s general hospital, a vital lifeline for medical services in the city.
Submerged by the rising waters, hospital officials express grave concerns that the damage incurred could severely impact those in need of emergency medical assistance.
Local residents, grappling with the sudden closure of the hospital, are urgently calling for its reopening. The submerged healthcare facility is a critical resource for a community already grappling with the widespread impact of the floods.
The floodwaters from the Shabelle River have inundated Beledweyne, forcing families to seek refuge on higher ground.
Among the displaced are medical workers, highlighting the indiscriminate reach of the disaster as even those dedicated to healthcare find themselves among the uprooted.
In recent weeks, hundreds of thousands of people have faced displacement as floods continue to ravage towns across Somalia.
The International Committee for Red Cross (ICRC) reports that the Somali Red Crescent Society (SRCS) teams have already rescued dozens, but with ongoing rains, the needs are expected to rise.
Abdi Abdullahi, SRCS branch coordinator overseeing rescue efforts by boat in Beledweyne, underscores the urgency of the situation.
“The floods have stranded many people, and our teams rescued several who had climbed to safety in high tree branches,” he reveals. Unfortunately, the rescue efforts have not been without tragedy, as SRCS teams have recovered three dead bodies in recent days, adding to the toll of approximately 10 reported deaths since the flooding began last week.
The crisis extends beyond healthcare, reaching into education as well. With the closure of educational institutions, thousands of students in Beledweyne are now unable to sit for the 2023/2024 term exams, further disrupting lives in the beleaguered city.
Despite the escalating humanitarian challenges, there are no visible measures taken by authorities to address the pressing needs in Beledweyne.
As the city grapples with submerged hospitals, closed schools, and a displaced population, urgent action is needed to mitigate the deepening crisis and offer hope to those facing the tumultuous waters of uncertainty.