Middle Shabelle – Situation Analysis 24 May 2012

from UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Published on 24 May 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 136,007 people, Cadaale 46,720 people, and Jowhar/ Mahaday 269,257people1. Jowhar is the region’s administrative capital while Adanyabal, Adale and Balad are main towns.

The region is hosting an estimated 51,960 internally displaced people (IDPs)2. From a total of 185,000 people, an estimated 95,000 are in crisis and 90,000 in emergency with 84/16 rural/urban ratio.3 The status of the agro-pastorals of Jowhar and Balad and Middle Shabelle riverine improved to crisis and stress phase respectively. In Lower Shabelle, a portion of agro-pastoralists are in crisis and the southeast pastoral livelihood zone is in emergency phase, while all other livelihoods are in stress phase in the post-Deyr (short rains) period.

The River Shabelle flows through the southwestern part of Middle Shabelle from the Hiraan region.
Middle Shabelle is divided into five main livelihood zones; central region’s agro-pastoral produces cowpeas and grazes sheep, goats, camels and cattle; in the coastal Deeh, sheep rearing is the predominant livelihood; Lower and Middle Shabelle agro-pastoral irrigated land grows maize/sorghum and supports cattle rearing; in Lower and Middle Shabelle the agro-pastoral rain-fed land produces maize, cowpeas and sesame and cattle are reared; and Shabelle riverine produces maize, fruits and vegetables.

Improvements in nutrition to critical phase are anticipated in parts of Middle Shabelle following improved food security. Malnutrition amongst children under age 5 is estimated to be in very critical phase in the agro-pastoral livelihood zone and critical phase in the riverine area with GAM rates of 20 percent4.
Food security in the region has shown significant improvements after the Deyr harvest. The 2012 Gu (long) rains are generally moderate with average to poor spatial distribution, except for the costal belt where rains are poor. The population in most areas exhausted food stocks from the Deyr harvest in May.

While the cultivation rate of maize and sorghum is good, the degree of crop germination varies among regions.

Increased rains in the Ethiopian Highlands raised the water level of River Shabelle, flooding seven villages in Jowhar district and affecting approximately 2,500 hectares of maize, sesame, beans, vegetable and fruit farms5. The local authorities and the community struggled to minimize the impact of the flooding.

The region is mainly controlled by Al Shabaab (AS). Key humanitarian agencies are banned, however some 20 partners mainly local NGOs are engaged in a variety of cluster interventions.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:

To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit http://unocha.org/.