Stories of survival
Islamic Relief provides swift response to victims of Cyclone Sagar
Tropical cyclone Sagar made a rare journey into the Gulf of Aden, between the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula between 16th – 18th May 2018. The Start Fund was alerted on 22nd May 2018 and awarded Save the Children and Islamic Relief funds to provide a rapid response to this emergency.
The storm affected Somalia, Yemen and Djibouti causing flash floods, displacement and destruction of farms and livelihoods. According to United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA), it is estimated 830,000 people had been affected by the cyclone and 290,000 had been temporarily displaced.
The Lughaye district in Somalia was one of the worst hit areas by cyclone Sagar; the strongest storms ever recorded in Somalia, producing wind gusts of up to 102 km per hour.
Helping to rebuilding lives
Mother of seven children, Barni Eynan Hashi, 45, lives in El-Lahelay village in the Lughaye district of Somalia. Storm Sagar swept away her main source of food and income: her livestock and agriculture.
Left with little to survive, Barni relied on family members living in the city to send her food. Very often, the support she received was limited and Barni was struggling to feed her children.
With the rapid funding awarded by the Start Fund, Islamic Relief Somalia provided an emergency water supply, distributed non-food items and hygiene kits to 624 identified households, including Barni’s, that required urgent aid.
Barni Eynan said,
“Water is the most basic necessity that we need, we rely on water for cooking, for bathing and drink. We used to travel three hours to fetch water with this harsh climate and weather of our area.”
The provision of an emergency water supply relieved some of the everyday struggles already faced by affected families, particularly for women and young girls, who are traditionally responsible for collecting water from distant locations.
“I am an old woman and my husband suffers from diabetes and other diseases, he unable to be the breadwinner of the family because of his long-term sickness. I thank Islamic Relief and the donor for their prompt response and standing with the cyclone affected families living in my village,
“I could not afford to carry 20 litres jerrycans of water from a far distance of three hours travel, because we do not have donkeys to use… they were all washed away by the cyclone. I thank Islamic Relief and the donor that established emergency water close to our home.
“Many families of our villages benefitted from this project, we are so grateful for the support from the Islamic Relief and hope that it will continue until the situation is back to normal.”
Surviving the storm
Halima Shido Alale is 50 years old and now, a single mother of six children. Storm Sagar hit her village of Abdi Gedi under the Lughaye district of Somalia causing devastation and destruction. Halima’s husband lost his life and their only source of income and food: a family shop and livestock were swept away.
Devastated with the loss of her husband, livestock and livelihood Halima was struggling to make ends meet. The scorching heat exacerbated already difficult conditions.
Describing her loss, Halima said,
“I am one of the unfortunate mothers in this village, because I lost my husband and my livestock - those were the backbone of our financial support.”
Awarded funding by the Start Fund, Islamic Relief ensured Halima received the emergency support required alongside other affected families to help overcome the challenges they faced.
Overcome with emotion, Halima explained the impact of the response work,
“The conditions of our society in Abdi Gedi was so miserable, but Islamic Relief and the Start Fund responded to our needs, thanks to those who contributed to this admirable effort.
“No water, no life. The water trucking in our village saved many lives especially as the temperature is very high and will continue till the end of August.’’
The emergency project implemented by Islamic Relief Somalia was made possible through the support of the Start Fund and met the immediate needs of 6000 people in 45 days.
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