Somalia Gears Up for Heavy Rains with UPDF Assistance
In response to the anticipated heavy rains linked to the El Niño phenomenon in Somalia’s Lower Shabelle region, the Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces (UPDF) under the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) have taken steps to minimize potential damage. These actions include unblocking a drainage system in Bulo Marer, Somalia.
On October 18, 2023, the joint district disaster management committee made an urgent decision to clear water channels ahead of the impending rains. To achieve this, they sought assistance from ATMIS forces and other humanitarian organizations.
Muhidin Kharif Alio, the Deputy District Commissioner and head of the district disaster management committee, expressed gratitude for ATMIS’s swift response. He noted, “This assistance has come at the right time before water burst channels to cause floods. It will help in improving the drainage system.”
Major Don Naijuka emphasized the necessity of opening drainage channels early to clear debris and silt, ensuring smooth water flow during heavy rains. He explained, “Without a proper drainage system in place, flooding in low-lying areas could lead to property damage and health risks. We are here to prevent such a situation.”
Furthermore, in collaboration with the community, joint forces of ATMIS and Somali Security Forces have reopened water collection points, wells, and dams in Bulo Marer town. They have also cleared surrounding areas and removed rubbish to mitigate the risk of waterborne disasters.