Garowe, October 13, 2023: A multi-stakeholder forum on disaster risk management was held in Gardho town from October 10-11, organized by the Media Association of Puntland (MAP) in partnership with Free Press Unlimited (FPU).
Participating were Qardho district local councilors, Director of the Qardho’s department of social affairs, Officials from the Qardho DRM Unit, Reporters, MAP Secretariat and the Vice chairperson of Puntland youth umbrella (PYAN).
Held days after the widey covered Gardho townhall, the event further discussed on how best different stakeholders could better cooperate were possible, as well as, discussions on topics which looked at the very current plans in place on disaster risk management amid the Deyr season and the continuous early warnings on the forecasted heavy rains.
The Deyr rainy season (October-December) is critical for Somalia since it accounts for 20% to 30% of the country’s yearly rainfall. The season has a shorter duration and less precipitation, yet it is helpful to most water-dependent industries. According to the multi-model rainfall projection, El Nio is becoming more likely, which means more rain and flooding in Somalia during the brief rains of Deyr.
The forum acknowledged that since the last deyr season, Qardho administration has carried notable steps towards disaster risk management including the negotiations with house-owners built in the town’s water canals – however – the district including the state authorities are yet to come up with an alternative pack for owners who were asked to vacate their homes.
Another key point mentioned was that, yes the public is responding well to the awareness messages and some are already moving away from the low-level land to stay with their extended family within the city – but then are the host families able to well accommodate them? Do they have the ability to take care of their guests? These questions simply have no answers, and need to be addressed.
The media participants also brought up the issue of public trust, particularly in light of the fact that the local population has frequently been contacted through media interviews in which they express and publicly speak out about the feared flash floods that occur periodically and how they have affected them, as opposed to the lack of response or ineffective measures put in place to prevent the significant loss of lives and property due to the heavy rains.
‘’People are tired of being interviewed and now becoming resistant to sharing their concerns with the media, just because they feel it is a waste of time since no help is coming, yet the threat of floods still exist’’ underlined by a reporter participating at the forum.
The main action points recorded for this Qardho forum will be considered as part of the briefing material for the discussions at the state multi-stakeholder forum that MAP will be soon holding Garowe.
DANWADAAG is intended to increase local government’s ability and create an environment in which they can deliver substantial comprehensive interventions and disaster risk management services. The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Nairobi is funding DANWADAAG, which will run from January 1, 2021, to March 31, 2025.