Environmental Catastrophe in Beletweyne town
By: Mustafa Farah Jaburi
Whether climate change is real or fiction, remains a polarizing issue that had created a two fiercely opposing camps among world top scientists, as some argue that, the protracted droughts in some parts of the world, the melting down of polar ice, the unforeseen sequential earthquakes and the rising sea levels, are vivid evidences that, the world as we know it, is rapidly changing climatically.
While, the other camp firmly believes that, climate change is only a part of the new fear games of the twenty century, to mislead the public spectrum, since Wars, Diseases and Hunger reigned in the eighteen and nineteen centuries.
Despite this, one thing is for sure, that human encroachment is to blame for the climate change, if there is any, because we are not using wisely our Allah endowed resources, think a minute you wouldn’t need to scratch your head, you can see the rapid changes that took place over the years in your surroundings, may be some birds or species of trees are no longer there.
In the case of my home town Beletweyne, its shocking and deplorable due to the dumping of waste materials in the river Shabelle, which runs in the town, in a zigzag way that resembles the S letter, however, this dry season, the level of the river has receded in an unprecedented way causing a heap of the rubbish to appear for the full view of everyone, as unscrupulous people use the river as their waste yard, without considering the ill effect of their actions to the environment as well as the Population of Hiran region, who consume the river water.
Once pure and drinkable river waters, had completely turned into a green and stagnant, thus rendering water shortage crises to be felt in Beletweyne and all the surrounding riverine and agro-pastoral villages, as now it’s the norm to see people queuing for water in every corner of the town, let alone the rural parts of the region.
Children crossing the river by walking in the shallow water, while the trashes are piled in the bank
The humanitarian agencies in the region are, in their part, warning of a possible outbreak of water born diseases notably cholera, since the river waters are contaminated beyond repair, as this is coupled with hot season, which are ideal for the outbreak of tropical diseases, but unfortunately the river continue to be the only source of water for millions of people in Hiran region, regardless of the imminent risks.
So, in order to prevent the looming catastrophe, we need to educate our people about the delicacy of the environment and how intertwined are the relations between us (Humans) and the environment, as the municipality in Beletweyne town is inept, and could not collect the trash from the town, and dispose it in an allocated space outside the town, let alone to fine the careless business people who dump the rubbish in the river.
However, it’s the time to act faster before it’s too late, because the pace of the environmental damage is too quick, we have to race against time, since we can’t stand a chance to see our children bequeath a dried up river, as well as inhospitable barren land that is also not fit for both cultivation and animal grazing.
People queuing for water in inside Beletweyne town, after the river waters became undrinkable
Meanwhile the silence of the educated people in Beletweyne is so deafening, yet they are boasting about the various decrees, which they received from many academic fields, unfortunately they are gleeful to how well decorated are their rooms, while the whole house is on fire, in this regard, they are merely a bunch of confused goons, who lost the touch.
On the other hand, it seems that everybody is waiting a divine intervention to take place, as we are better engrossed into the notion of everybody for himself, and not caring the public issues.
These photos are taken from Bundoweyn Bridge, as you can see the pile of the rubbish have narrowed the river flow
Mr. Mustafa Farah Jaburi
Hiiraan University, Faculty of Agriculture and Environment