Tropical Cyclone Sagar - May 2018
A tropical cyclone formed in the Gulf of Aden between Yemen and northern Somalia on 16 May 2018. The cyclone system caused heavy rains along the coast of Puntland on 17 May. Flash flooding was reported in the Bari region, which were not limited to seasonal riverbeds. The road linking Bossaso and points south has reportedly been affected. There are also reports of some fishing boats having been washed away by waves off the coast of Sanaag region, which along with Sool are disputed between Somaliland and Puntland. The two authorities have been engaged in an armed standoff in Sool that had displaced almost 10,000 people prior to the storms arrival, further complicating an already complex humanitarian picture. By 18 May, the cyclone had gained strength, reaching tropical storm-wind levels and assigned the name Tropical Cyclone Sagar. Heavy rains are projected for the escarpment and plateau of Somaliland. (OCHA 19 May 2018)
In Somaliland, the largest concentration of fatalities were reported in coastal Galbeed and Awdal, where the cyclone made landfall. Houses were destroyed, and livestock washed away. The heavy rains and subsequent flooding are hindering humanitarians’ ability to access some of the areas affected by the cyclone to assess the extent of the damage and provide assistance. In Puntland, severe weather conditions also resulted in fatalities, livestock loss and the destruction of farms, property and infrastructure including fishing boats...Meanwhile, forces from Puntland and Somaliland have been engaged in an armed standoff in Sool that had displaced almost 10,000 people prior to the cyclone’s arrival, further complicating an already complex humanitarian picture. By the morning of 20 May, meteorological authorities were reporting that Sagar was beginning to weaken into a tropical depression. The tropical depression itself has remained over parts of Ethiopia, Djibouti and north-west Somaliland, about 140 kilometres from Hargeisa. (OCHA , 20 May 2018)
The humanitarian crisis in Somalia continues to be driven by conflict, recurrent climatic shocks, and political and socioeconomic challenges. Access to basic services remains restricted and protection risks high. An estimated 2.6 million people are displaced. One third of Somalis (4.2 million) will require humanitarian assistance and protection in 2019. Some 1.5 million people are acutely food insecure in Emergency (IPC4) or Crisis (IPC Phase 3); and some 2 million in Stress (IPC 2).
The overall food security situation in Somalia has improved due to above average Gu rainfall (April-June) and sustained humanitarian response. Similarly, the nutrition situation has marginally improved. Despite these improvements, high levels of vulnerability persists.
The favourable weather conditions brought about by the Gu rains (April-June) have had a relatively positive impact on livestock conditions, water, pasture availability in Somalia. This, combined with a large-scale humanitarian assistance, have improved the food security situation in Somalia, breaking the downward trend which has emerged during the last two years. The gains are, however, still fragile.
Famine was averted in Somalia in 2017, thanks to the rapid mobilisation of resources and scaled-up response. By the end of 2017, donors had collectively contributed or pledged $1.32 billion, channelled either through the projects included in the 2017 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) or projects outside of the HRP.