After three weeks a much belated report on the impact of the Tsunami on Somalia is published today on IRIN News. The tsunami which travelled at about 805km per hour retained most of its force when it hit the Somali coastline wiping out entire villages. This report and other smaller ones give a confusing picture of what exactly is happening in the various villages and areas hit. In some places there has been outbreak of diseases such as malaria, typhoid, respiratory-tract infections, and diarrhea.
Garacad one of the cities that was hit is a major fishing industry centre selling seaford to markets in the Middle East and Africa. The livelihoods of 780 families (4,8000 people) were affected. In the region of Puntland, 16,270 families (100,000) people were affected.
The Somali transitional government appealed to the international community to aid the tsunami affected people who have so far received very little aid or acknowledgement of their plight.
"I would like to appeal to the international community for strong assistance in order to help these affected people to help these people is very important – the assistance to other countries has been great, while the assistance to Somalia as yet has been minimal.
"Our people have been through four years of drought and now the tsunami. There are no medical facilities or means of emergency care in most of these areas."
The worst hit area, Hafun has received some aid from UNICEF and the Red Crescent to provide clean water. 200 children have been vacinated against measles and women are to be vacincated against tetanus.
Like most coastal areas, the main industry is fishing and all the fishing equipment, boats and homes have been destroyed. Although a few agencies have tried to bring in aid their job has been hampered by extremely poor roads and a general lack of infrastructure. Meanwhile after three weeks people in some many communities are stilling living under plastic sheets on high ground some way from the coastline, still waiting for the aid organisations to reach them with food, shelter and medical equipment as well as help to rebuild their lives.