MOGADISHU — The Supreme Islamic Courts of Somalia (SICS) has rushed to help hundreds of thousands of people affected by severe flooding hitting the Horn of Africa country for the fourth week.
A relief committee has been set up by the SICS to raise donations to people afflicted people in southern and central Somalia.
Nearly half a million US dollars has been raised so far, according to SICS sources.
Some 96 people have been killed since torrential rains started hitting Somalia in October, mainly flooding the main Shabelle and Juba rivers that have their source at the Ethiopian highlands.
Around one million Somalis are estimated to be affected by the flooding, of which at least 336,000 have been forced from their homes, according to the United Nations.
The SICS, which now controls the capital Mogadishu and much of southern Somalia, has a reputation for channeling aid to needy Somalis, long before gaining power.
It has brought aid to people affected by drought that hit the African country over the past two years.
At the time, the SICS established a relief committee to help the drought-hit people, gaining more popularity among the Somali people.
The SICS has called on Arab and Muslim countries to help flood-hit Somalis.
"The flood problem is more than we can fix alone," said Sheikh Nor Barud, a spokesman for the SICS's flood relief committee.
"Would Arabs and Muslims remain hand-folded waiting for Western aid to come first," he wondered.
The floods have complicated the delivery of aid to the most vulnerable and impoverished remote areas.
Aid groups have been airlifting emergency aid into Somalia.
But years of neglect have left Somalia's road system virtually impassable when it rains.
Health officials have also sounded the alarm for outbreaks of waterborne diseases, particularly cholera, which has already been confirmed in two areas.
IOL Correspondent said no drinking water, wells or hospitals are available and that hundreds of thousands of Somalis are facing a gloomy future.
Home to about 10 million largely impoverished people, Somalia has lacked almost all the trappings of a functional state, such as national systems of education, healthcare and justice, for the past 15 years.
Torrential rains have destroyed homes, roads and farmlands, disrupted food supplies and cut off villages.
"The floods washed away my house. I have no where to say," 80-year-old Gomy told IslamOnline.net in the southern village of Mreri.
Floods have left the Somali people at the brink of starvation.
"The floods have destroyed our farmland and starvation is chasing survivors," resident Abdullah told IOL.
The floods have washed away harvested crops.
"We don't have anything to feed our children," said Gomy.
Abdullah also pleaded for help.
"What we have been planting for a year is now gone."