HirShabelle to build dams in long-time plan to avert drought

Somalia’s Hirshabelle regional stae is planning to build mega dams across its territory in a long-term plan to mitigate drought, Hirshabelle president, Ali Abdullahi Osoble said Monday.

Osoble said the state is expecting to to tap water from River Shabelle which runs from southern Ethiopia to mitigate perennial water shortages facing the region.

“Irrigation is the only solution to drought; we must invest in water harvesting to ensure food production throughout the year,’’ said Osoble.

He said his administration had taken the decision to set up a water grid to maximise the use of water in the river through scientific inter-linking to drought-hit villages.

“Instead of depending on rainfed farms, we have decided to optimise the current resources through proper planning and filling up gaps.” Osoble said.

Somalia has two river Shabelle and Jubba of which one them (River Shabelle) dried up last year worsening the drought in the country.

An estimated 6 million people in this Horn of Africa nation, or about half the population, need aid amid warnings of a full-blown famine.

Somalia has declared this drought a national disaster.

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