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Tsunami disaster – countries in crisis

Children in remote fishing villages get help

© UNICEF Somalia/2005
A mother holds her child, both are survivors of the tsunami

HAFUN, Somalia, 11 January 2005 - Children in the fishing villages of Hafun, Gara’g, Bender Byla and Eyl on the north-eastern coastline of Somalia are suffering the aftermath of last month’s tsunami. 

These affected areas have a population of approximately 12,000 women and children,– all of whom have been gravely affected. Eastern Somalia near the tip of the ’Horn’ was the worst hit in eastern Africa with the tsunami causing tidal surges and waves along more than 650 kilometres of coastline. At least 100 people died as a result.

In Hafun half of the homes were destroyed. People were left without clean water, sanitation and food. But so far no lives have been lost due to water borne diseases, malnutrition, measles or other potentially fatal outbreaks resulting from the crisis.

Those left homeless  have been relocated from the school where they took shelter and classes have resumed for nearly 100 students.

© UNICEF Somalia/2005
A little boy clutches supplies given to him by UNICEF. His home in Harfun is in the background. It was destroyed by the tsunami

‘’UNICEF has provided shelter materials and clean water and in collaboration with WHO [World Health Organization] emergency medical care,’’ said UNICEF Somalia Emergency Officer, Bob McCarthy who has been on the ground in Hafun.

Making sure children have access to clean water is a priority for  UNICEF. Because local water sources were contaminated, potable water is being transported by truck from 92 kilometres away. “We are taking measure to ensure access to safe water in the coastal villages. When the waves came in the shallow water pools [used for drinking, cooking and bathing] were contaminated by the sea water,” said Mr. McCarthy. “In the short term we are trucking water into Hafun – clean water, potable water.”

UNICEF is also providing assistance to an estimated population of 4,200 in Gara’g and another 600 in Bandar Beyla. So far UNICEF has distributed blankets, jerry cans, plastic sheeting, cooking sets, mosquito netting and soap and has also assisted in household chlorination and digging of latrines to prevent outbreaks of water borne diseases such as cholera.

A measles campaign will begin this week along with the provision of vitamin A, Supplies will be distributed to prevent outbreaks and to boost the children’s immune systems.





10 January 2005: UNICEF Emergency Officer Bob McCarthy on the ground in Hafun, Somalia. Mr. McCarthy talks about the situation for children living in this devastated fishing village.

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