With the authorities showing lack of perspective planning and failure to deal with the incessant water problems letting parts of Hargeisa, the capital city, reel under severe water crisis, residents have resorted to staging agitations as the only ultimate weapon to get a solution.
The seething anger felt by residents of Ahmed Dhagah district in Hargeisa exploded yesterday as scores of angry people, mostly women and children, took to the streets. Witnesses said the violence erupted at around 7.00pm with angry demonstrators blocking the road between Edna Adan Hospital and Hargeisa Stadium with boulders and burning tyres.
The disturbance brought a swift and brutal response from the authorities who swamped the area with heavily armed police. Police used live ammunitions to disperse the demonstrators. However, there were no reported casulaties.
“It is a tragedy that the police used live ammunition against an unarmed demonstrators demanding their right to drinking water,” said Ahmed Mohammed Diriye, KULMIYE MP for Ahmed Dhagah district. “This lack of access to clean drinking water is one of the monumental failures of this government”.
Water riots occurred in Hargeisa for the fourth time this week because ordinary citizens feel helpless and hopeless as a result of finding no means to achieve their legitimate demands.
Hargeisa’s water infrastructure is outdated and crumbling, unable to cope with the city’s swelling population. Government officials siphon off all the money generated from the Water Agency.
Residents boisterously fighting for every drop of water have become a regular sight in this part of Hargeisa.
This latest public unrest coincided at a time president Rayale is visiting the eastern regions of the country as part of his election campaign, pledging voters that his government will dig more water wells to provide adequate supply of drinking water to villages.
Rayale’s government claimed before that the country has reached self-sufficiency in water supply.
The Somaliland Water Agency comes directly under the president.