By Dirir Abdi Ibrahim (Godah)
Tuesday November 14, 2023
Another year, another season and one other more powerful flood than the last one, sieged and surrounded Beledweyn enforcing inhabitants to evacuate the city, leaving behind their business and professional activities, then hosting an open area, in rainy season, with very indeed serious hardship life, no food, no water and no shelter for most of them.
The flood solution is a national issue and utterly beyond the capacity of Regional level. The Regional level’s role is to advance recommendation, project proposal and solicit to be done soon.
The flood event frequency (rate of recurrence) is very high and practically, we are experiencing, in a very undisputable way that always the last one is more aggressive, effective and ferocious than the previous one, maybe for a reason related with climate changing.
One thing we know for sure that we are used to welcome in a very alternative and excessive way a flood in one season and draught in the other season according the year two rainy seasons.
As we all remember the flood events took place in all these years:
2012-2015-2017-2019-2020 always with higher intensity respects the one before. Oddly, this year 2023 the flood happened twice either the spring season or the autumn, while in the two skipped years 2021 and 2022 the flood happened luckily in a mild (minor) way:
- This is the reality Beledweyn and its surrounding villages are experiencing in a very seasonal and habitual manner.
- This is the reality the people of Beledweyn are used to deal with and to be amicably adapted with.
In some parts of the same continent, after few hours of simple strike you read in the headline of next day Newspapers the amount of lost in financial terms the Strike has caused for the economy of that area or city.
While the inhabitants (families) of Beledweyn are constantly obligated to sustain continuously massive cost of lives and properties to deal with, through unbearable consequence of the flood, which are not mentioned or recorded by all Administration stages: Federal State, Federal Member State and even in Regional Administration. Just to mention few of these costs:
1- Evacuation and return transport costs. As many elders remember just like it was yesterday, during the only flood I personally witnessed in Beledweyn, the one of 1961, there were in every angle and street corner of the city new Military trucks known as “Nasar and Cameron” with three/four soldiers loading the stuff and members of families in flood risk to transfer them and their possession stuff somewhere outside of the city, like around “115-Centoquindice”mountain flat area. Now-a-day that is unthinkable desire of the past.
2- Drugs and medication costs for the flood related illnesses or expected to happen.
3- Life hardship, due inflation and over cost during the days of displacement.
4- Damage of commercial items like food and many others in the stores.
5- Lack of income for those their families’ life was maintained and managed by what they earned in daily bases job (muruq-maal).
6- Due enormous restoration costs of the houses and toilets to resume family’s ordinary daily life.
7- Cleaning cost of their houses around to make it accessible for normal life.
8- Intensive damage and devastation costs in agricultural infrastructure system, as well as the seasonal harvest and long term fruit plants.
No one can put in doubt that in the last 20 years and little bit beyond Beledweyn agricultural sector was booming and flourishing, that gave many people the opportunity to make profitable business.
Also, after covering the need of local population they started in very lucrative way to supply other regions.
9- No one can calculate and define in monetary terms the stress and anxiety the people should face due the various problems the flood fetches to them, as well as the obsession they feel for the other on its way to come, maybe, in the next rainy season .
10- and so on so forth, just name and list them.
The people are always engaged and busy to think about the debt (money owing) for the flood just past and the same time to think about the cost of one in the pipeline to come. Therefore, on behalf of the voiceless people we are here to say:
1- Why the solution of the flood problem is for years on the papers and lips exercise only?
2- How many other years the people of Beledweyn should still suffer for flood tragedy?
3 - It is a shame and disgrace for those representing them in the Federal Parliament.
4- It is shame for so-called Hirshabelle Federal State Supreme Authority for not pressurising the Federal Government to do something without delay.
Overall, Hirshabelle Federal State is utterly barren Administration, good for nothing, even worse to be unnecessary checkpoint of the bad bureaucratic system created between Beledweyn (Hiran region) and Mogadishu (Somali Federal Government).
5- It is shame for Hiran Regional Authority with luck of initiative, goodwill and plan based on the community needs, which is written in priority’s importance manner and timely way for its implementation.
Finally, we are saying with loud voice to the regional authority if you can do nothing for the people struggling with chronic/recurring/repetitive flood problems, please, save for them the little humanitarian aid expected to coming from elsewhere.
As a recommendation points, the flood solution should be:
1) First and foremost many years’ flood experience should drive and teach us the best way to deal with.
2) As a Somali saying tells, the flood and fire are one of the most dangerous enemy a community should deal with to keep far from their living place.
3) Principally, the enemy should be fought far from your dwelling area, digging your defence trench far from your home. The mentality of the local committee appointed to deal with the flood who believe and uselessly tried many times to make a flood Channel Drain connecting between Hilakalyo and Dhagaxjabis can save the city from the flood, is the same of the one who make a trench in front of his house to defend the attack of enemy.
4) Also, it is ridiculous and absurdity in full sense of the term, to think and even try to stop flood water with a pile of sand (carrotuur).
5)The only possible solution, with which we can overcome, once for good, the problem of the flood is to establish a water diversion Channel Drain with manageable doors in a suitable area far from the city, at least, from 15 to 20km.
6) If the chosen (selected) suitable area is a farming location or permanent residence of families the deal agreement should be based these two points:
b) Win-win solution, according the limit of the possibility, also to convince the owner and explain him the importance of the project.
t) Always the public interest has the priority respect the personal or family interest.
j) The agricultural field (farm) or the private residential building of the family should be removed. There is an Italian proverb saying: “Per fermare il divampo di un bosco bisogna distruggere un bosco”. In a very roughly translation is said:
“To stop the wildfire burning a forest, a piece of the forest should be destroyed avoiding the advancement (progress) of the fire”. The desire to find or verify the flood problem solution is propelling us to destroy or remove even a private ownership.
Dirir Abdi Ibrahim (Godah)