20 Oct Flash Floods in Somalia by Elizabeth Adeyemo
Somalia has been laced with several catastrophic experiences in the past few years due to climatic emergencies and extreme weather conditions. The most recent and ongoing is the flash floods triggered by the 2020 Gu’ rains (April to June), especially in the South West State, Buntland, Somaliland, Jubaland, Puntland, and Bandir. These areas have been reported to have experienced increased levels of water and riverine flooding from April, 20th to April, 23rd. The regions have previously been battling the effects of flooding about four months after October to December rains on more than 500,000 people, compounded by the country’s rallying to contain the COVID-19 virus.
The flash floods have resulted in casualties and damage to infrastructure, displacement of hundreds, fatalities, and injuries, especially in the Bari Region of west Puntland, the Juba river basin and Shabelle river basin.
According to Relief Web, 546,103 individuals have been affected by the flooding, of which 216, 985 people were displaced from their homes, and sixteen killed. These figures keep increasing with the rise in water level. As of 16th May, continuing flash and riverine flooding affected about 918,000 people, where 412,000 were displaced and 24 killed in 29 districts in Somalia. These could result in disease outbreak and a surge in COVID-19 victims due to crowding in shelter homes.
Although there has been a reduction in heavy rainfall, the risks from flash floods are still imminent. These ranges from increased displacements of people from their home, risk of electrocution, the threat to food availability to disease outbreaks and destructive impact for those heavily dependent on farming and livestock for their livelihood.
How does Hungers Reduction International fit into the current narrative?
Flash floods aggravate the humanitarian situation in Somalia and place a triple burden on them, in addition to the locust infestation and COVID-19 pandemic. These burdens are not synonymous with the humanitarian responses provided, as funding has been critically low and inadequate to cater for the multiple effects. According to Relief Web, only 16.8% of the revised 2020 Somalia Humanitarian Response Plan was funded as of 16th May.
Hunger Reduction International partners and collaborate with communities to create sustainable solutions to multiple threats to hunger, sustainable living and security. We have implemented several projects across Somalia in a bid to alleviate the humanitarian situation in Somalia and bring relief. One of such is the drafting of a community-based disaster reduction and contingency plan.