HARGEISA — Heavy rains with strong winds swamped parts of Somaliland last night, damaging hundreds of private properties and claiming at least nine lives.
At least nine people including two children were killed in fresh floods in the capital when heavy rains dropped 20- 25 millimetres of water across the city in ten hours. The relative of a deceased mother told Somalilandpress’s Abdiqani, that Zainab Hassan Mumin of 15 children was killed when she got electrocuted by a downed power lines in her Mohamoud-Haybe neighbourhood home.
Unconfirmed reports reaching Somalilandpress from the village of Ubale said that three people were swept away by the flash floods when they fell off a milk-truck. Ubale, like Hargeisa, is also part of Marodi Jeh region formerly known as Waqoyi Galbed.
A doctor from Hargeisa’s general hospital also told Abdiqani that, they received seven injured people while they also been notified that at least two more are been treated in Manhal hospital for similar injuries after roofs collapsed on them. Four more injured people were rushed to Edna Adan Maternity hospital after their home was struck by a lightening.
Three men were also killed yesterday when their Grande Mark II fell into a deep gully in the outskirts of the city emerging from one of the dry river banks created by years of soil erosion and running water.
The rains have also damaged more than 120 homes in Hargeisa, lifting the zinc plate roofs and downing power lines. It’s unclear if the rains also damaged schools and government buildings, but a number of small shops were heavy flooded in the Ahmed-Dhagah neighbourhood.
Local people blame the lack of proper flood control infrastructure and methods including drainage system, levees and retention basins for the continuous flood problems in major towns of Somaliland.
Somaliland lacks proper road signs including signs warning of floods and deep gullies. People are unfamiliar with the road often run into a deep gully. Also, mud-slides and soil erosion are common. Roads and streets don’t often get closed during heavy rains as well and this is a problematic the civilians say, however, no one does any thing about it.
In late 2006, the Somaliland Flood Control and Water Management Project, with the aim of reducing flooding by improving water conservation and managing flooding events in the Hargeisa river basin was established under the auspices of the UNDP Livelihoods Programme. The organisation with the collaboration of local communities, the Municipality of Hargeisa and Gabiley, the Hargeisa Water Agency as well as number of NGOs has since carried out a number of community projects in and around Hargeisa.
The heavy rains have been reported in most western and southern parts of Somaliland, stretching from Hargeisa and as far as Las Anod in Sool. No official data has been yet released about the level of damages the rains have caused, however, the worst hit area is said to be the Mohamoud-Haybe and Ahmed-Dhagah neighbourhoods, in particular the suburbs of Alamadaha, October, and Sinay of Hargeisa.