Status of Breakages along the River Shabelle (Sep 2017)

The Deyr 2017 (October to December) rainfall forecast points towards near-normal to below-normal rains within the Juba and Shabelle River basins. However, flooding along the two rivers may still occur, especially in areas with open river banks/weak river embankments, in the event of increased river flow.

SWALIM has updated the status of the river breakages along the Shabelle River and is in the process of updating the Juba by mapping them using available Very High Resolution (VHR) satellite imagery and a Digital Elevation Model (DEM); as well as verifications based on field observations where feasible. All the observations reported refers to the latest suitable VHR satellite image available, which is indicated in the online database.

Four types of breakages have been identified, namely; open, potential, closed with sandbags and closed. The open breakages are those that are still open as observed on the latest VHR image available, therefore a field verification is needed before planning any repair. The potential breakages represent points that have weak river embankments. The closed with sandbags points are defined here as those that been temporarily closed with sandbags making them still vulnerable for further breakages. The closed points are those that were previously open but have since been closed using heavy machinery, which prevents further flooding in the short to medium term.

The attached map show the open, potential and closed with sandbags points along the Shabelle River. In summary, 42 open points were identified long the river. Several other points, which are either potential or temporarily closed with sandbags, have been identified.

It is worth noting that the methodology relies heavily on satellite images with limited field verification. Open breakages might have been omitted in some cases where satellite images may not have been very clear (e.g. heavy cloud cover) or were not available at all.

Maps of the status of river breakages, with detailed information, have been produced at large scale and can be obtained from SWALIM offices. This information is also available on the SWALIM Flood Risk and Response Management Information System http://systems.faoso.net/frrims/assets/Breakages_Shabelle_SEP17.zip