Rains adds to Somalia refugees misery

2011-07-31 22:29

Mogadishu - Tens of thousands of famine-stricken Somali refugees were cold and drenched after torrential rains pounded their makeshift structures overnight into early Sunday in the capital, leading to appeals for aid.

Rains are needed to plant crops and alleviate the drought that is causing famine in Somalia but they added to the misery of many refugees who live in structures made of sticks and pieces of cloth.

Disgruntled refugees in several camps in Mogadishu said that more aid is needed.

"We are living in plight, we left our homes, lost our animals and farms so we ask everyone to help us to survive," Abdi Muse Abshir said.

Lul Hussein, a mother of five, said her family had a sleepless night after their makeshift home crumbled.

"We are starved and we don't have enough help," she said. "Who's helping us? No one! So we are already between death and bad life."

Aid agencies have limited reach in Somalia where Islamist militants are waging an insurgency against the country's weak UN-backed government.

The most dangerous group among the militants - the al-Qaeda linked al-Shabaab - has barred major relief organisations from operating in the territories it controls.

Aid not getting in

The UN said tens of thousands already have died in Somalia in areas held by the Islamist rebels because food aid could not reach them.

The African Union peacekeeping force fears that al-Shabaab may try to attack the camps that now house tens of thousands of famine refugees in Mogadishu, disrupting even further the distribution of food aid.

The AU force launched a new offensive on Thursday to push the militants' front line farther back from the camps.

The drought and the famine it has caused in Somalia have affected more than 11.8 million people in the Horn of Africa and created a triangle of hunger where the borders of Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia meet.

The World Programme says it cannot reach 2.2 million Somalis who live in al-Shabaab controlled territory in south-central Somalia.

  • TRiP - 2011-07-31 23:08

    but the country has money for war, for how many years have they been warring?

      Kathryn Elich - 2011-08-01 01:01

      These look like gangs and warlords to you? These are innocent mostly mothers and children. God have mercy on your merciless soul.

      Creeky - 2011-08-01 08:17

      Lots of RAIN and MUD to go with that MONEY FOR WAR!!!! Let them PLANT FOOD now!

      Kenko - 2011-08-01 11:10

      @Creeky - They don't know how, and anyway, what grain they get goes towards building stamina to make more babies. It sounds heartless but nature must be left to take its course. Sorry Kathryn, but today's saucer-eyed starving boy is tomorrow's AK-carrying rapist / killer. That's just the way it is.

  • za101 - 2011-07-31 23:17

    I wonder if Malema will donate money he uses for himself to the Africans suffering in Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia.

  • Doublepost - 2011-08-01 00:06

    Cry me a River!

      Ralph Long - 2011-08-01 00:44

      Easy for you to say that, with a full belly. It is not the common people's fault so have a little compassion. Stupid comment, Doublepost.

      Creeky - 2011-08-01 08:19

      When it RAINS.... it POURS!!!

  • Capeboy - 2011-08-01 05:33

    Feel sorry for the children - but there should be a programme to sterelise the woman and stop these idiots from producing more children!

  • Gargmel - 2011-08-01 08:30

    Where are all the Muslim countries? Should they not be helping their fellow Muslims? Or the African countries? Amazing how everybody wants help from the evil imperialists....

      Daemos1 - 2011-08-01 12:21

      Ignorance is a dangerous thing, there are a feew muslim countries, including Qatar and Saudi Arabia who are supporting the world food programme's efforts in Somalia uh-huh schooled

      IC1 - 2011-08-02 12:35

      Waging war in Somalia and Sudan, where do you think these Muslims are? The only thing they do well is kill people, screw what the Koran says and the actual preachings of Mohammed were/are. Until 2 weeks ago there was a a saying, "Not all Muslims are terrorists, but why are all terrorists Muslim"

  • VargVikernes - 2011-08-01 09:28

    Thought there was a drought.

  • Daemos1 - 2011-08-01 12:20


  • IC1 - 2011-08-02 12:37

    Maybe we'll have fewer pirates

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