Meet six-year-old Farhia who lives in Sigale camp in Mogadishu, Somalia
Six-year-old Farhia lives in Sigale camp in Mogadishu. When the rains came in October 2011 they created flash flooding. This resulted in several deaths and around 63,000 people have been severely affected.
After the flooding Farhia became very sick and her mother took her to a Save the Children health centre for urgent help. Farhia is now part of a Save the Children health programme in Mogadishu – which means she receives medicine and regular health check-ups.
“I remember the rains very strongly. They were so hard and the water was rushing in around us. We had no good shelter here – just a small hut,” Farhia’s mother Nasfio explained to a Save the Children staff member.
“It was made of bits of cloth and wood. When the rains came we became very wet and Farhia started to shiver. I could not warm her up. It was very scary as I did not know what to do. There was panic in the camps – everyone was wet and shivering.
“So many of the huts were swept away. The mat was very wet and so were all of our clothes. There was nothing dry to warm Farhia up with.
“I hugged her tight and rubbed her. But it did not work and she shivered all night. We did not sleep. We survived the night by climbing into a building nearby. One of these war-damaged buildings was the best we could do.
“But the next day Farhia was still cold. She was shivering and started coughing. I was scared because I did not know what was wrong with her or what to do. She was shivering as though she was cold, but she had a fever. She was hot and cold at the same time. I don’t know how to describe it. Someone told me to take her to the Save the Children health centre.
“There were many people there after the rains. A nurse gave me a number and I waited just a short while. The doctor was very nice. He looked at Farhia and gave me some medicine for her. He said that many people were sick after the rains and that he was expecting there to be more.
“I am so glad that Save the Children is here. Where would I have gone otherwise? The rains caused this illness, but she was already very weak. Before that night the last thing she had eaten was porridge. I only had a small coffee with no sugar as there was nothing else to eat, and I wanted Farhia to eat.
“My biggest fear now is not having enough food to eat. I think that if we get strong we can survive the rains. They will come again, but now I know where to go for help I feel better.”