Middle Shabelle – Situation Analysis October 2012

from UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Published on 31 Oct 2012


Middle Shabelle region borders Mogadishu to the south, Lower Shabelle to the southwest, Hiraan and Galgaduud regions to the north, and the Indian Ocean to the east. Its population is estimated at 514,901 with 80 per cent living in the rural areas. The region has four main administrative districts; Adanyabaal with 62,917 people, Balcad/Warsheikh with 136,007 people, Cadaale with 46,720 people, and Jowhar/ Mahaday with 269,257people1. Jowhar is the region’s administrative capital while Adanyabal, Adale and Balad are the main towns. The region hosts an estimated 51,960 internally displaced people (IDPs)2.

Middle Shabelle is divided into five main livelihood zones. In central regions, agro-pastoralists produce cowpeas and graze sheep, goats, camels and cattle. In the coastal Deeh, rearing sheep is the predominant livelihood; while the agro-pastoral irrigated livelihood zones grow maize/sorghum and rear cattle. The agro-pastoral rain zone produces maize, cowpeas and sesame and rear cattle; the Shabelle riverine zone produces maize, fruits and vegetables.

The River Shabelle flows through the south western part of Middle Shabelle from the Hiraan region. The River is the lifeline for agriculture however it also brings devastation during flooding seasons. According to weather forecasts, the El Niño (September 2012 through early next year) is likely to affect some 113,000 people in Jowhar and Balcad districts due to increased rains in the Ethiopian highlands.

The food security situation in the Middle Shabelle region has shown significant improvements since Deyr season. Gu 2012 harvest is 26 per cent above the Post-War Average (PWA). Livestock is in good condition, and terms of trade combined with stable food prices contributed to improved food security. The coastal belt has received poor rains and the food security situation remained in emergency phase. A nutrition survey could not take place for the Gu cycle, however, the situation is believed to be in critical phase following a bumper Deyr harvest and an above average Gu Post War Average (1995-2011) crop.3

The region is still under Al-Shabaab (AS) control except for Balcad district. Insecurity remains a serious challenge in Balcad due to frequent AS hit-and-run attacks. Key humanitarian agencies are banned, however some 20 partners, mainly local NGOs, are engaged in a variety of cluster interventions.

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