River Shabelle has nearly dried up almost 90 percent of its water volume especially around Afgoi town, an agricultural town in the Lower Shabelle region, Southwest state which lies 30 km west of Mogadishu.
Afgoi’s deputy social affairs Abdullahi Hassan Abdi alias Toogana appeals to the authorities to rectify the situation since its the season when the farmers to benefit from the river water.
“We can say we achieved little progress. The federal and regional southwest state must come with plans to restore the river like removing garbage from it. Now it is the season for making good use of the river. When the river runs dry, we must come up with strategies to remove the dirt and sticks from it” said Toogane.
His counterpart on the humanitarian department in the town Sharif Qalaafe noted the fullness of the river some weeks ago and called upon the charitable organizations to help the farmers on digging wells to water their crops.
“I think three weeks ago, we took pictures of the river having water at full capacity but now you can see [how it is dry] which is a recurrent one. So it is imperative to rectify the situation is it is a continuous one. We need humanitarian organization to step in and dig wells to sustain water availability for irrigation purposes” Qalaafe added.
Resident are also facing water supply shortage and price for the precious commodity might shoot up in the coming days.
Other junctions of the river have a trickle of water that cannot sustain the vast agricultural farms noted for the town which is one of the crucial feeding towns to the Somali capital.
The main two rivers in Somalia are Juba and Shabelle rivers which are the only perennial rivers in the country, but 90% of their flow originates from a neighboring country-Ethiopia and they both sustain agricultural production not only by providing much needed irrigation, but also through the very fertile flood plains where a variety of crops are grown for domestic and foreign markets.