Somalia flood worsen, six refugee children die

Published on Monday 16th June 2008

Somalia: Six children living in makeshift camps around the Somali capital of Mogadishu have died in flooding brought on by torrential rain over the weekend, residents said Monday.

Hundreds of thousands have fled Mogadishu to escape heavy fighting between transitional government forces and Islamic insurgents, with many of them setting up camp wherever they can.

"Four children died in our camp - all the people live here in makeshift tents that could not stop the rain," Dahabo Hussein, a mother of four, Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa said.

"The children do not have the resistance to tolerate hypothermia in these conditions," she added.

Two others children died in different camps and several other people were injured when a building collapsed under the pressure of the rain.

Many thousands of the refugees were also forced to abandon their shelters and most of the city's streets were impassable on Sunday as floodwaters rose.

Mogadishu's infrastructure, including flood defences, has collapsed since the 1991 overthrow of dictator Mohamed Siad Barre plunged the Horn of Africa nation into anarchy.