14 October: The Deadliest Ever Explosion in Somalia!

Our people had been suffering closely three decades with civil strife, famine, drought, flooding and other painful detriment.

Especially Mogadishu, the capital city of Somalia hosts enormous explosions, tremendous conflicts, humongous assassinations and plenty of anguishes. And these intrusive issues become normal among the people as longest they adopted and interacted permanently.

But, 14 October was absolutely exceptional and unprecedented black day! It was around 03:00pm in Mogadishu time when we heard the sound of the explosion which caused by the truck bombs.

It was looks like an earthquake. Zobe junction meets three roads one from Banadir, one other from Wadajir district and the other one from KM4. It was and is a busy road all the time. Many business centers are located; also several hotels are based including Safari Hotel, Shamow Hotel, Ramada Hotel and others. Government institutions are located including Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Culture and Higher Education and others.

The real number of the death toll can’t be mentioned, but it estimates more than 600 of death, more than 500 are debilitating injuries while many people are missing , neither their deaths were proved nor  their fates found. On the other hand, Traffic jam augments the Death toll! As longest , Zobe conjuncts three main roads , so mostly it’s too busy, and this led to disband the damage both the life and the business.

Poor Coordination and Lack of Registered Rescue Workers diminishes the response!

Albeit many voluntary work has been done, but we can’t negate the degree of poor coordination, because plenty of groups were participating the response efforts  including the government, the private sector, youth volunteers. Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs takes the lead, but unfortunately, there was confusion and mismanagement within those were partaking the rescue efforts,  as she declares and says the former minister of the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs Dr. Mariam Kassim “ there is a confusion and poor management” which ultimately propels and causes to resign the ministry.

Additionally, like that devastated explosion, many countries across the world has assigned and prepared a registered rescue team who are ready all the time to encounter and handle such disaster. But, unfortunately, we don’t have such team for sack of our government institutions is so far fragile and we are recovering still.

The former Mayor of Mogadishu and Governor of Benadir his Excellency Thabit was the champion of those days. He leads massive mobilization efforts in response to the disaster. Because, he evinces his sacrifice towards helping the victims, and that pioneering  stimulates others to mimic and pretend like him.

He contributes his blood and he participates the rescue efforts. Same, the president his Excellency Farmajo and the prime minister his Excellency Khaire joined the rescue efforts.

The president appoints a GURMAD QARAN TEAM who were collecting and gathering the donations and the contributions from all over the world. The president himself was present the center of collecting the contributions as he answers the calls from across the world. Many contributions were gathered and dispersed the families of the victims respectively.

Coping Mechanism and Resilience among the Local Community

Regardless the ample damage caused by the devastated disaster, our people is so resilient. Because they depend on themselves after Allah. They support each others. And this applause action serves and contributes the resilience wise among our society.

Recommendations

  • Improving the Coordination when handling and responding such paramount issues
  • Building and Registering Permanent Rescue Workers
  • Tightening the Security for preventing potential jeopardy
  • Accelerating and Empowering the work of the Humanitarian Affairs Ministry in order to handle such issues
  • Reducing the traffic jam which increases the death toll
  • Distinguishing the movement of the small cars and the vehicles. The small cars and the public transportation should work the day shift, while the vehicles should work the night shift as many countries do so as to lessen the potential the traffic jam
  • Running away sitting in front of the streets for avoiding becoming first victim if something happen.

Anwar Abdifatah Bashir
Freelance Journalist and Independent Researcher
anwarcade100@gmail.com