This flash update is prepared by Habitat Action and Peace (HAP) with the purpose of providing key highlights of the Deyr Rainy Season in Somalia, with particular focus on the reported situations in the Southwest State of Somalia that have been badly affected by heavy rain with an extensive spread of floods.
Heavy rain and floods caused extensive damage to infrastructure, including roads, homes, bridges, and buildings in Baidoa. It is estimated that over 107,000 people (17,831 families) who live in Baidoa district have fled their homes, and several human lives have been lost by the continued rain and flood for the past few days and a moment, according to preliminary reports from the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management of SWS. In addition, business shops, education centers, and hospitals have not operated in Baidoa district, Burakaba district, and surrounding areas for the past few days due to consecutive rains and floods. The floods spread to all places in the Southwest State as the rain fell consecutive days and the Shabelle River burst its banks.
The floods have caused widespread damage to homes, infrastructure, and crops, and many people have lost everything they own and are now living in makeshift shelters in camps or with relatives. Internally displaced people are the most vulnerable communities and have no food, clean drinking water, or shelter.
There is a high risk of waterborne diseases, such as cholera and acute watery diarrhoea, in the affected areas. The floods have also disrupted access to clean water and sanitation, making it difficult for people to stay healthy.
Heavy rain and flooding can be caused by a variety of factors, including:
Climate change: Climate change is causing more extreme weather events, including more intense rainfall.
El Niño: El Niño is a climate pattern that can lead to warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures in the Pacific Ocean. This can increase the frequency and intensity of storms that produce heavy rain.
La Niña: La Niña is the opposite of El Niño, and can also lead to more extreme weather events, including heavy rain.
Local geography: Some areas are more prone to flooding than others due to their geography. For example, areas with low-lying terrain or poor drainage systems are more likely to flood.
RESPONSE TO FLOODS: SOMALIA GOVERNMENT AND INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY
The Somali Federal Government and international humanitarian organizations should provide immediate relief and assistance to those affected by the floods in the Southwest State, particularly those who live in Baidoa, Burhakaba, Hudur, and other areas that have been affected by the floods. This includes providing food, water, shelter, and medical care.
The Somalia government should take the lead in responding to and improving the country’s state of emergency for widespread floods and preparedness for future floods. This includes building flood early warning systems, improving drainage systems, and planting trees to help stabilize soil and reduce erosion.
IMPACT OF THE FLOODS
Floods can have a devastating impact on Somalia, a country already struggling with poverty and insecurity. The floods can cause:
- Loss of life and property
- Displacement of people from their homes
- Damage to crops and infrastructure
- Increased risk of waterborne diseases
THE WAY FORWARD
The Somali government is working to assess the damage caused by the floods and to develop a long-term plan for recovery and reconstruction. The government is also working to improve early warning systems and to build resilience to future floods.
The flooding has also affected state’s economy as the main supply route between Mogadishu and Southwest districts was completely cut off because of the widespread of flooding across all regions in the Southwest State. It believes that El Nino can be continue until the end of 2023. Somalia government and international community should take an immediate action on providing humanitarian aid to those affected the floods and build resilience to future disasters.
Floods are a major natural hazard in Somalia, causing significant damage to property, infrastructure, and livelihoods.