Comprehensive Assessment of Existing Centralized and Decentralized Early Warning Systems in Somalia - Final Report



1.1 Background

The Federal Republic of Somalia is highly vulnerable to hydro-meteorological disasters and is ranked among the most vulnerable countries in the world to climate change. The climate of Somalia is considered either arid or semi-arid due to the fact that mean precipitation is less than potential evapotranspiration across most parts of the country (Muchiri, 2007). The country experiences different types of hazards such as floods, drought, stormy rains, accidents, and disease epidemics.

Severe floods regularly overflow the river systems, displacing hundreds of people and impoverishing them with failed crops and livelihoods. Droughts periodically affect the country, negatively impacting on food security for many people. The impacts of disasters are enormous and have hindered the country’s socio-economic development of the country. Establishing accurate and timely hydrometeorological, early warning and climate information services is very critical for Somalia to minimize human and economic losses and to safeguard the economic gains that the country has achieved this far.

After many years of civil strife, Somalia is making progress towards rebuilding its hydrometeorological and early warning institutions and recognizes the importance of quality public services. In addition to reducing loss of life and damage to assets, the productivity of key economic sectors in the country, such as agriculture, water resources management depends on the availability and access to quality weather, water, and climate information services. Ministry of Energy and Water Resources (MoEWR) takes issues of hydro-meteorological and early warning systems serious with goal to reduce the social, economic and environmental impact of hydro-meteorological disasters.

One way to effectively reduce hydro-meteorological disasters risks and adapt to climate change is by improving weather and climate information and early warning systems in Somalia. Monitoring climate, weather forecasting and climate change, impacts and using early warning systems to disseminate information to a wide range of stakeholders from national to local level are important components of successful long-term adaptation to climate change and disaster risk reduction.

Currently, there are multiple ongoing early warning projects being implemented in Somalia, but there is little horizontal or vertical coordination between existing projects as well as national, district and community levels.

In 2020 the Federal Government of Somalia signed an agreement with UNDP to implement project entitled: Support for Integrated Water Resources Management to Ensure Water Access and Disaster Reduction for Somalia’s Agro-Pastoralists. The main objective of the project under component two of the project “Transfer of technologies for enhanced climate risk monitoring and reporting on water resources in drought and flood prone areas” is to support the mitigation of climate shocks, and strengthen the weather, climate and hydrological monitoring capabilities, early warning systems and delivery of through precise and timely hydro-meteorological forecasts responding to extreme weather and planning adaptation to climate change in Somalia. The Global Environmental Facility is providing financial support for the project. As a way of providing baseline information on the current status, MoEWR conducted this comprehensive assessment of existing centralized and decentralized early warning systems in the country, including existing weather and climate information exchange mechanisms, communication channels and dissemination mechanisms between authorities, user agencies and end-users in order to recommend a way forward and standardize existing and future of Early Warning Systems (EWS) in Somalia