OCHA Somalia Flash Update #2 - Humanitarian impact of heavy rains | 26 April 2018

Situation overview

The Ethiopian highlands and Juba and Shabelle basins in Somalia continued to receive moderate to heavy rains, according to FAO-managed Somalia Water and Land Information Management (SWALIM). The result has been a rapid increase in river levels causing flash and riverine flooding in many locations. Overall, rainfall has been above average over broad areas of Somalia.

Short-term forecasts suggest heavy rainfall is likely to continue over the coming week both inside Somalia and within the Ethiopian highlands. Other central and northern parts of the country are expected to receive moderate to high rains in the coming week with regions of Puntland being the exception.

The projection for heavy rains coupled with the high river levels means that riverine flooding will continue in the Juba and Shabelle river basins in the coming week. The Shabelle River levels in Belet Weyne areas are above the high flood risk level and has reached the bank full-level leading to significant displacement. Flash flooding and inundation of IDPs settlements was reported in Baidoa, Banadir and Galgaduud. In Jowhar, which is in the middle parts of the river, the water levels remained high over the last week and is expected to continue rising posing a high risk of flooding in the area. Flooding along the Shabelle River, especially in the middle and lower reaches, is expected to continue in the coming week. The Juba River levels in Luuq sharply increased over the past week and are beyond the high flood risk level. At Bardheere, the river levels continued to rise, with the current level surpassing the high flood risk levels. Flash floods are foreseen in the coming week in low lying build up areas especially in Mudug, Bay and Bakool regions given the rainfall forecast.

Humanitarian impact and needs

Overall, more than 427,000 people have been affected as of 26 April and of these nearly 175,000 have been displaced as a result of the flash and river flooding in Hirshabelle, South West and Jubaland states as well as Banadir region, according to data collected by humanitarian partners. Assessments are ongoing to determine the impact of flooding in affected areas.

In Hiraan region of Hirshabelle State, an estimated 122,580 people have been displaced in Belet Weyne town and surrounding riverine villages after the Shabelle River burst its banks and inundated houses and crops. Some of the affected were already internally displaced. Immediate needs include water, shelter, food, latrines, health services and emergency education. Shabelle River levels have reached the bank full-level as heavy rains continued to pour in the river basin of Ethiopian and Somalia.

The main road that connects Belet Weyne town to the airport is on the verge of closure due to the river overflow. Motorized boats are among the priority needs, in order to reach people in isolated locations.
In Middle Shabelle in Hirshabelle State, the situation continued to worsen with nearly 20,000 people affected by flash and river flooding. The Shabelle River overflow displaced people in Horseed area and other low lying areas within the river basin. Flooding also affected access to roads and washed away farmlands. Some 7,000 people moved to Hantiwadaag village in Jowhar. Limited road movement due to flooding is hindering access to some of the affected areas. Jowhar, Mahaday and Balcad are among the worst affected areas. The road connecting Mogadishu and Jowhar is almost impassable, while the Jowhar-Balcad road is cut off at Garsaale village, north of Balcad.

An estimated 174,000 people have been affected by flash flooding and water inundation in Baidoa town, Bay region and another 5,000 people in Afgooye town, Lower Shabelle in South West State. Over 200 latrines were either damaged or completely destroyed in 26 IDP sites in Baidoa town. Some of the affected fled their inundated sites to higher ground. Baidoa town hosts an estimated 246,000 IDPs. Flash flooding was also reported in Afgooye town where 70 shelters for IDP and host communities were inundated with water. Al-Yasir primary school in Afgooye town was also filled with flood water, thus disrupting learning activities for children. A canal breakage in Golweyne village washed away an estimated ten hectares of farmland.

In Jubaland, the number of displaced people spiked from an estimated 28,200 on 22 April to 42,300 people who are part of the 165,000 people affected in the state. The worst affected areas include Bu’aale, Garbahaarey, Ceel Waaq, Luuq, Baardheere and Saakow. Some 2,000 farmers along the Juba riverine areas lost their crops, irrigation infrastructure such as 200 irrigation pumps and farming equipment. In the low-lying areas of Jilib and Jamaame, where access to partners is difficult, some farmers lost their cash crop that was almost ready for harvesting. No new human casualties have been reported since the last update when three people were found drowned.

In Galgadud region of Galmudug State, the projected heavy rains in the coming week may worsen the situation in IDP settlements in low-lying areas of Abduwaq town. An estimated 9,300 IDPs have been affected in Danwadaag, Kulmiye and Wadajir settlements, including 1,650 people who moved to higher ground. Poor hygiene and stagnant water may trigger diseases. Immediate humanitarian needs include shelter, mosquito nets, food, latrines and health services.

In Banadir region, which hosts an estimated 497,000 IDPs, flash flooding has also affected nearly 54,000 people mainly in IDP settlements in K12, towards the Afgooye corridor. Most of their improvised shelters and latrines built by partners have been destroyed. Waterlogging and lack of access to hygiene facilities is heightening the risk of communicable diseases. The region was already experiencing AWD cases, with over 430 cases reported since January. Urgent needs include shelter, food, health and WASH.

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