Visit the victims of the floods, Mr. President – UM

This is Beledweyne the regional capital of Hiiraan region as the situation getting worse. Almost the entire city is underwater after the river floods city according to new footage. Rescue efforts are underway.

Mogadishu (UM) – President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo met with a committee established by the Prime Minister to coordinate the relief efforts in Beletweyne where many people have lost their lives, more people are missing and almost all lost their livelihoods. President Farmajo did the usual things he always does and told the committee and Somali people everywhere to help the victims. This is a good start but sitting around and calling for help is not enough, Mr. President!

President Farmajo must go to Beletweyne to meet the victims, assess the situation on the ground and lead the humanitarian mission personally. Sitting in Villa Somalia wasting time with useless MPs and politicians like he always does is not what the Somali people expect from him. He needs to show leadership in this moment of crisis and desperation.

President Farmajo is happy to go abroad for international meetings some of which are pointless for Somalia but he is too slow to act when he has to deal with crisis at home. He has either kept quiet or just kept everything to the Prime Minister when he was needed to lead in the past.The President has to remember that his priority is his people and country. If he does this then he must go and visit Beletweyne and the victims of this environmental disaster. He can’t watch the suffering on the TV and leave it simply to a committee alone. The committee need leadership and inspiration and President Farmajo must rise to this challenge.

The people of Beletweyne have truly suffered. They have lost their lives, relatives, businesses and are now homeless. The city is devastated by floods which could have been prevented if they were better managed by the local government. The Hirshabelle federal member state government lives in Mogadishu hotels and appear to not care at all. The Somali government and international community are caught off guard and now everybody is running around trying to help. As one Beletweyne resident told UM: “this happens every year and it is always the same. We suffer from drought and then floods.”

Putting the failure to prepare for the devastation of the floods aside, the President need to take charge of the situation and lead the humanitrains effort from Beletweyne. He should set up office in Beledweyne until this disaster is contained. Beletweyne must become the new Villa Somalia.

When the Somali people need their President he should not be absent. He should not waste time with meetings to delegate his responsibilities. His presence in Beletweyne will help efforts and generate more resources and international support. It will also show the Somali people their President cares and is at the forefront. This is very important.

Go to Beletweyne, Mr. President and lead the rescue effort. Your people need you  there most now.