The Ethiopian government has donated food aid to residents of Hiiraan who were displaced by floods early this year.
The consignment that also included non-food items was donated to the Mayor of Beletweyne, Omar Adan Dekow, by the Deputy Ambassador of Ethiopia to Somalia, Jamaldiin Mustafa Omar, at a function held in Beletweyne, last week.
The donation is a response to appeals made by Hiiraan administration officials to development partners to help assist more than 7,000 families who were affected by the raging floods after River Shabelle, which originates from Ethiopian highlands, broke its banks in mid-October last year.
Many people living in Beletweyne, Bulo Burde and Jalalaqsi lost their homes, crops and livestock after floodwaters spread to the nearby towns.
Mr Dekow thanked the Ethiopian government for its generosity, saying the consignment will be used to ease the suffering of internally displaced persons.
“I would like to thank the Ethiopian government for their noble gesture, donating food aid to help the residents of Beletweyne who suffered from flooding in the months of May and June,” said the Mayor.
The effects of the floods are still evident at the E’eel Jaale refugee camp, located 5km east of Beletweyne town, where many of the residents who were marooned by floods are residing.
The internally displaced persons (IDPs) also thanked the people of Ethiopia for the kind gesture, urging other partners to come to their aid. The IDPs are currently in dire need of food and non-food items.
The residents also commended the Ethiopian troops serving under the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) for their role in improving security in Hiraan, saying their presence has helped secure the region from Al-Shabaab militants.
The Ambassador said Ethiopia is not only involved in security matters in Somalia but was also contributing to the development of the country.
“The Ethiopian government is not only involved in security matters. In the past year alone we offered education scholarships to 350 local students. Despite the challenges we face in our country, we thought of sharing what we have with our brothers in Somalia,” Ambassador Omar added.