Concerns about the risk of flooding in Belet Weyne, Somalia, during recent weeks materialised last weekend when the rising water levels led to the displacement of over 10,000 habitants from the town.
The displaced population sought refuge in an area approximately 10km to the east of the town.
Belet Weyne is a city in central Somalia, the capital of the Hiraan province and located in the central valley of the Shebelle river near the Ogaden, some 332 km north of Mogadishu, the nation's capital. The Shebelle river divides the town into east and west.
The MSF teams who had been monitoring the situation were able to immediately respond with a distribution of plastic sheeting shipped from Mogadishu for the 1,500 households affected. A nutritional screening was also carried out, and though the results were not critical, MSF teams will continue to monitor the situation.
MSF previously carried out an emergency intervention in the Hiraan region to assist people affected by floods in November 2006. In January 2007, MSF began to provide medical services both in terms of secondary health care and emergency surgery to the Belet Weyne regional hospital, covering a regional population of over 280,000.
MSF has worked in Somalia continuously since 1991 and today is present in eight regions: Banadir, Bay, Hiraan, Galgaduud, Middle Juba, Middle Shabelle, Lower Shabelle and Mudug.