ACAPS Briefing Note: Somalia - Floods in Southern Regions (4 November 2019)

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The Deyr rainy season has brought moderate to heavy rainfall to Somalia, causing both flash floods and river overflow in the southern regions of the country. Areas in Gedo and Hiraan regions have received from 100 to 220 millimetres of rain in October. Localised rainfall coupled with heavy rains in the Ethiopian highlands have led to increasing water levels in the Shabelle and Juba rivers in southern Somalia, raising the risk of widespread flooding in low-lying riverine communities. International organisations are coordinating with local authorities. 273,000 people have been displaced so far. Emergency shelters and latrines are of particular concern, especially for the nearly 285,000 IDPs residing in Hiraan and Gedo regions.

Anticipated scope and scale

On 26 October, the Shabelle and Juba rivers overflowed their banks as rainfall continued across Somalia’s southern and central regions. As much as 85% of Belet Weyne town has been inundated. Moderate to heavy rainfall is expected to continue across southern and central Somalia and the Ethiopian highlands. Ongoing river flooding is likely to worsen and there is a high risk of flash flooding in low-lying areas in Hiraan, Gedo, and Juba regions. Additional displacements are likely.

Humanitarian Constraints

Physical constraints, such as blockages and damaged infrastructure are restricting access, with many humanitarian activities requiring boats or large trucks. Insecurity caused by conflict and violence could add additional constraints to humanitarian response.