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Aid agencies appeal for aid to over 100,000 cyclone-hit Somalis.

MOGADyE[currency]U (CyHAN)- More than 10 international aid agencies on Friday said that over 100,000 people devastated by the recent cyclone in Somalia are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance.

In a joint statement issued in Nairobi, the agencies which included CARE International, Polish Humanitarian Action Refugees International, Save the Children International, Adeso and World Vision said the Somalis are in dire need of food, clean drinking water and shelter.

"We appeal to the international community for more assistance to respond to this disaster," World Vision Somalia Country Director, Francois Batalingaya said in the statement.

"While agencies are responding to other much bigger crises that have greater media visibility around the world, we must remember the plight of the most vulnerable children and families in Somalia, " he added.

The tropical cyclone that hit the Puntland region of Somalia earlier this month resulted in the death of at least 80 people, mostly children and the elderly, and is estimated to have killed more than 100,000 livestock. Pastoralist communities appear the hardest hit.

Flash floods inundated remote rural areas and coastal towns were severely impacted, leaving hundreds of people dead, most of them children and the elderly, and killed hundreds of thousands of sheep, goats, cattle, and camels, on which the population depends for food and revenue.

The Somali government has declared a state of emergency appealed to the international community for immediate response to mitigate the effects of the flood disasters.

However, the information from affected communities was initially limited due to the remoteness of the worst affected areas.

Communication was halted from the lack of electricity to charge mobile phones, which was the only method of communication. Initial assessments indicate there is an urgent need to provide food, clean drinking water, shelter and medical supplies. The agencies said families have lost their homes and possessions as floods damaged entire villages, roads and fishing boats. Fears are also emerging of an outbreak of diarrhea and other waterborne diseases as many water sources were destroyed, while others are at risk of contamination from dead livestock.

The aid agencies have so far distributed food, water treatment tablets, shelter material and provided medical services.

Puntland authorities have also created a bypass on the damaged Garowe/Dangoroyo road, facilitating the delivery of supplies to an estimated 30,000 people.

The storm has hit vulnerable communities who were still recovering from the 2011-2012 Horn of Africa famine and drought.

With over 65 percent of the population relying on pastoralism to earn a living, the huge livestock deaths could have long-term negative consequences.

Beyond their immediate needs for food, water, medicine and shelter, families will need support to rebuild lost livelihoods including restocking of livestock.

"Displaced families will require new shelter or relocation in the long-term, and coastal communities will need assistance to replace lost fishing equipment," the agencies said. (Cihan/Xinhua)


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Publication:Cihan News Agency (CNA)
Geographic Code:6SOMA
Date:Nov 29, 2013
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