Ethiopia + 1 more

Somalia Flood Watch - Issued: 24 May 2005

Heavy rainfall in the Ethiopian catchments of both Shabelle and Juba rivers over the last week caused heavy flooding in these regions. In Somalia, the upper catchments of both rivers experienced high rainfall over the last week. The water levels on the Shabelle river will remain high over the coming week. Flood risk and actual flood magnitudes on the lower reaches of the Shabelle are being reduced by high irrigation demand following the poor rains.

High river levels reported on the Juba will continue to increase as the heavy rainfall in Ethiopia is transmitted downstream along the Juba and it's tributaries. Heavy rains in Luuq district on the 21st caused moderate flooding along the river. Farmers downstream of Luuq are being advised to remove irrigation pumps to higher ground as river levels are rising quickly.

The rainfall forecast for the coming week are for moderate rains in Middle Juba and Middle and Lower Shabelle basins both in Ethiopia and Somalia. Moderate to high rains are forecast for the Lower Juba. The rising river levels and the saturated soil conditions causes a high risk of localized flooding over the entire length of both the rivers.


River levels continued to rise gradually over the last week at Belet Weyne, and this trend will continue over the next week in response to stream flow from Ethiopia. Predicted levels at the downstream stations are being reduced by irrigation and out of bank flow. The risk of severe flooding remains high throughout the Shabelle's reaches and close monitoring of local conditions is required. The SFFM needs to be calibrated for the high flows currently being experienced; predictions for Mahadey Weyne and Afgoye are qualitative rather than quantitative


River levels have increased over the last week as observed at Luuq and Bardheere gauging stations. High river levels are predicted on the downstream station in the coming week, the actual magnitudes will be reduced by out of bank flow. Increasing soil saturation, high river levels and predicted rainfall in Somalia results in high flood risk along the Juba. The situation down to Mareere and Jamame requires close monitoring over the coming week.

This bulletin is produced by FAO Somalia Water and Land Information Management (SWALIM) Project and USGS/FEWS NET Somalia. SWALIM and USGS/FEWS NET acknowledge Care Somalia, CINS & SCUK for their continued assistance.