28 December 2013

Somalia: Water Shortage Sparks Deadly Street Protest in Somaliland

Hargeisa — Hundreds of people Saturday took to the streets in Somaliland capital of Hargeisa, complaining about severe water shortage, Garowe Online reports.

Residents of Siinay, Ahmed Dhagah, October and Mohamed Moge neighborhoods staged the demonstration following the suspension of water distribution services by water trucks according to local sources.

Angry crowds poured into the main roads, with protesters setting tyres on fire, blocking the roads with thorn bushes and asking the government to address their plight as shortage of water continue to persist across the southern part of the capital.

Witnesses reported one death in October neighborhood while separate clashes left three people wounded after police forces fired live ammunition at the protesters.

Ali Mohamed Waran Adde, Interior minister of Somalia's separatist administration of Somaliland said the government will respond to the public demand soon: "A committee which would have representatives from the interior ministry, finance ministry and water carrier trucks will assess the magnitude of the complaint and the water scarcity".

Road tax bill which was approved by Somaliland parliament is said to have forced local water suppliers to halt providing clean water with Hargeisa residents.

Somaliland, located in northwestern Somalia unilaterally declared its independence from the rest of the country in 1991 but has not been recognized internationally yet.

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