Water Pumps and Sanitation Tools Support Community Efforts to Tackle Floods in Jowhar District, Middle Shabelle

The Middle Shabelle Region in Somalia suffers from recurrent floods which threaten community life, property, and livelihoods. Flooding negatively affects hygiene and sanitation, causing the spread of diseases such as cholera. In Jowhar, Middle Shabelle region, heavy rainfalls due to the recent El Niño phenomenon have left many communities flooded and isolated.

To mitigate the impact of the recurring floods and increase the district administration’s capacity to respond to flooding incidents, IOM provided Jowhar District Administration with four water pumps and one piston engine, 100 wheelbarrows, shovels, forks and mattocks. Additionally, 60 community members received flood control training in February 2015 to strengthen their disaster preparedness.

“The recent floods destroyed crops, blocked roads that connect the villages within the district and led to an increase in food prices,” said Yahya Hassan Sheikhi, Kulmis Ward Officer. “The water pumps and sanitation tools reduced the flood risks in the district. We are using the water pumps to remove the water from the villages and we sent two other pumps to Mahaday District, a neighboring district that was heavily affected by the floods.”

Hassan Ahmed Ali, a resident of Kulmis Ward in Jowhar District, noticed significant improvements to the local government’s capacity to respond to floods this year. “The local government and community are making a lot of effort to respond to the floods. The water pumps truly supported the flood protection efforts and a huge amount of water was pumped out during the last 48 hours,” explained Hassan.

IOM-supported flood-preparedness activities are helping the local government in Jowhar to better respond to community priorities, thereby increasing the citizens’ confidence in the government and contributing to stability in the district. 

Water pumps, provided by USAID, in action in Jowhar District. Photo: Abdirahman Heyle Ahmed, IOM. November 2015