In an effort to mitigate flooding risks caused by heavy rains, in Bulo Marer, Somalia, the Joint Forces of the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS), led by the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF), have opened up a blocked drainage system.
The Deputy District Commissioner and head of the district disaster management committee, Muhidin Kharif Alio, said that the support in the form of a bulldozer that was extended to the district disaster management committee is due to the expected el-nino rains in the Lower Shabelle region.
He commended ATMIS’s speedy response to their call.
“This assistance has come at the right time before water burst channels to cause floods. It will help in improving the drainage system,” Alio said.
Major Don Naijuka, the acting Bulo Marer ATMIS forward base commander, explained that there was a need to open up the drainage channels early enough before the start of heavy rains so that disposables and silt are cleared to enable floodwaters to move.
“Not having a proper drainage system in place will result in flooding of the low-lying areas, thereby causing property damage and the resultant health risks. That is why we have come in to mitigate that situation.” Naijuka explained.
The joint forces of ATMIS, who were joined by Somali Security Forces, and the community also reopened water collection points, wells and dams within Bulo Marer town. They also cleared the surrounding bushes and collected rubbish in order to avert waterborne disasters.
On October 18, 2023, a nine-member joint disaster management committee comprising personnel from ATMIS, the Somali National Army, and district leaders was created to help mitigate the likely effects of floods in the area.