Flash Update on Water Shortage Crisis in Somalia (As of 17 October 2021)

Situation Report
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Situation Overview


A significant pasture degradation and water shortages have been reported in many areas in Jubaland due to dry weather and high evaporation rates with Afmadow, Badhadhe, Belet Xawo and westeren villages of Kismayu being the hardest hit areas. Currently, the water shortage conditions are severely alarming and deteriorating in Afmadow district particularly exposing a higher number of vulnerable people to significant water shortage risks. The pastoral population living in the hard to reach areas are the worst affected. Pastoralist families across the district are uprooting their lives and moving in search of water for their animals. Even when water is available and accessible to people in Afamdow, it is sometimes unsafe and contaminated.
As of 10 October, at least 8,200 households were affected by water shortage in Afmadow districts and its surrounding villages. The district authorities have issued an appeal letter to humanitarian partners to support affected families with lifesaving assistance. In rural villages, it’s reported that almost all the water pans dried up with a significant number of shallow wells and strategic boreholes are yielding low water causing mass concentration of livestock with long hours of queueing at the water sources. Meanwhile, an estimated of 2,912 HH in Belet Hawo district, 4,638 HH in Luuq district and 1,040 Households living in Dolow were also affected by the recent water crises and have no access to safe drinking water. Over 4,456 Households in Badhadhe District were also affected the by the current drought and have no access to safe drinking water, improved sanitation facilities and good hygiene practices. A significant scale-up of sustained WASH assistance across Jubaland state particularly in Afmadow district is required to prevent water related diseases.

South-West State

Most parts of south West State particularly Bay and Bakool are experiencing water shortages, access constraint and high prices of commodities.
Approximately 17,263HH in South West State are currently facing devastating water shortage in number of districts including Ceelberde, Rabdhure, Hudur in Bakool region, Qansaxdhere, Diinsoor, Berdale, Burhakaba and Baidoa in Bay region, Wanla Weyne, Barawe and Merka in Lower shabelle district. Most of those locations solely depend on rainfed earth dams or shallow wells are currently at risk of running dry. Most affected districts are Ceelberde ,Wanla Wayne and Rabdhure as they reported higher water prices. Similar conditions were also reported in Qansaxdhere, Baraawe and Hudur where the strategic community boreholes developed some technical failure due to long hours operation to meet high population demand.
Provision of emergency life-saving water to an estimated 113,160 individuals affected by the devastating droughts and blockage are in dire need of urgent life-saving water and other basic WASH services in south-west state. Provision of basic hygiene kits and hygiene promotion are also needed to ensure good coping mechanism adopted by the affected communities during this period of water shortages to avert diseases outbreak in the affected locations.


The Puntland climate is mostly arid or semi-arid and is heavily affected by depleting water resources, as a result of rising demand and increasing drought frequency. The state, where groundwater is the primary source of water, is currently facing water shortages particularly the coastal areas of Bari, Nugaal and Mudug. The worst affected districts in the current water shortages are Jariiban, Qandala and Caluula. There is a recent HADMA assessment for Puntland humanitarian situation which indicates increasing need for humanitarian interventions including WASH due to the failed Gu season and the delayed Deyr rainy season. Recent WASH rapid assessment in Galkayo and Garowe IDPs indicated also poor WASH situation. On the other hand, moderate to heavy rains were observed in parts of Puntland during the last couple of days. The good rains came as an immediate relief to the drought-stricken areas following the failure of two consecutive rainy seasons.


A Substantial water shortage have been reported in many areas in Hiiran due to dry spell and high evaporation rates particularly in Mataban, Maxaas, Buloburte and several areas in Beledweyne where a significant number of water points are currently requiring an urgent rehabilitation activity. In middle Shabelle, 11,000HHs displaced due to the Flash floods in Jowhar and Mahaday in May 2021 and August 2021. These floods have affected 62 water points and 1,640 sanitation facilities destroyed in 17 villages . Fresh flash floods cannot also be ruled out in the coming Deyr rainy seasons due to presence of many weak points along the river both in Hiran and Middle shabelle regions. Urgent needs for WASH intervention particularly provision of sanitation services for the people affected by the recent floods before the onset of deyr season


Recurrent conflicts and droughts in Galmudug state have displaced more than 4,000HH from villages in South-mudug and East of Galgadud. Inadequate sanitation facilities for IDP settlements in Caabudwaq, Guriel,
Hobyo and Galkaio districts ere also reported. Increased water prices of 5-6 USD per barrel in rural villages are reported as several of water points have dried up. Water trucking has become a last resort option to avoid displacements in areas where people rely on rainwater due to unavailability of potable water or due to high salinity groundwater. An initial investment is needed to ensure a smooth transition from emergency to more durable and sustainable water systems in central regions. These investments are crucial as droughts in Galmudug and across the country are becoming more frequent and more prolonged, linked to the global climate crisis.