Somalia: Flash Update 3 Humanitarian Impact of Heavy Rains | 13 November 2015

from UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Published on 13 Nov 2015

Situation overview:

While wet conditions persisted in some parts of northern Somalia and areas along the Juba and Shabelle river basins in Somalia and in the Ethiopian Highlands, most areas did not experience heavy rains and floods over the past week, according to the FAO-Managed Somalia Land and Water Information Network (SWALIM). River levels in some areas of middle and lower reaches of River Shabelle are currently at full crest while the upper reaches of River Juba have increased sharply over the past week. Given the rainfall forecast and the high river levels, there remains a high risk of flooding along the lower and middle reaches of Shabelle and lower reaches of River Juba especially in areas with open river breakages. Jowhar and some areas in Lower Juba continue to experience flooding.

Meanwhile, in the north eastern parts of Somalia, the passage of Chapala and Megh cyclones which made a landfall in Yemen caused a lot of damage in parts of coastal areas of Puntland. The storms were characterized by strong winds and heavy rains with some areas receiving more than three times their annual rainfall, according to SWALIM. The severe weather conditions led to livestock deaths, destruction of property as well as infrastructure including roads, buildings and boats.

Humanitarian impact and needs: Cumulatively, an estimated 132,000 people have been affected since 19 October. An estimated 42,000 of these were affected by tropical cyclones Chapala and Megh, according to SWALIM. Another estimated 60,000 people have been displaced as a result of the flash and river flooding in Bakool, Bay, Hiraan, Lower Juba, Middle Juba and Middle Shabelle, according to multiple sources including local authorities, partners, communities and the Protection and Return Monitoring Network (PRMN). As the wet conditions continue, thousands of people in the low lying areas of the southern and central parts of Somalia remain at risk of flash and river flooding.

In Banadir region, heavy rains caused flash floods in Mogadishu and surrounding areas. Three children were reportedly killed and a number of people were injured after a wall collapsed in Yaqshiid district. Sarakusta area, which borders Dharkenley and Dayniile districts, was also affected by the flash floods. An OCHA-led assessment found that most of the shelters belonging to 12,000 internally displaced people have been destroyed. Also, over 90 community latrines were reportedly damaged, while the remaining are likely to collapse. Waste from the destroyed latrines will likely pose health risks. Some families have lost household items due to flooding.

While there have been no new reports of flooding in Bay and Bakool regions, partners have faced challenges in delivering aid in Buur Hakaba and Qansax Dheere due to access constraints. Lack of road access between Baidoa and Buur Hakaba continues to hinder delivery of humanitarian assistance. These areas were affected by flooding in the last week of October.

In Buaale and Saakow districts in Middle Juba region, river flooding destroyed 40 hectares of crops affecting over 1,000 people, according to local authorities. There are concerns that the river might break its banks in the lower parts of both Middle and Lower Juba regions including Jamame and Jilib districts where floods were reported last month.

Heavy rains were reported in most parts of Lower Shabelle region. In Afgooye district, three villages were severely affected resulting in the displacement of 1,500 people and destruction of crops. The affected villages include Awgoye, Berdale and Armoog.

In Middle Shabelle, heavy rains were reported in Balcad, Jowhar and Mahaday districts.

In Mahaday districts, the town and about 16 rural villages were affected by floods. Most areas are only accessible by boat. An estimated 18,000 people are reported to have been affected in Mahaday town. The situation in Jowhar town is returning to normal. If flash floods in Hawadley in Balcad district continue, the main road may be cut off. The entire Hawadley village is inundated.

An estimated 6,000 people are reportedly displaced to the eastern part of the village. There is an urgent need to repair the river bank breakages in Balcad, Jowhar and Mahaday to prevent river overflow.

In Galgaduud region, particular concerns are raised about heavy rains potentially affecting an estimated 20,000 internally displaced persons due to the poor state of their shelters. Already, some of the internally displaced persons whose houses have been damaged by the rains are living with neighbors and relatives in the vicinity of the town. Local authorities also reported that the livestock market as well as Hawlwadaag residential area were affected.

Storm waters from the rains flooded Sheikh Abdulkadir Jeelani Primary school causing its closure and affecting some 400 pupils. An estimated 300 livestock were killed and 100 latrines were destroyed as a result of heavy rains in Gedo region, according to local authorities and partners. Also, 30 water pumps were reportedly submerged.

In Mudug region, heavy rains affected 4,000 school children and 1,500 internally displaced persons and restricted access to the local market. Some locations in north Gaalkacyo were inundated with stagnant water blocking access to schools and other public facilities. The road connecting areas such as Garsoor, Israac and Horumar have also been affected. On 9 November, tropical storm Megh made a landfall in Bari region resulting in heavy rains accompanied by strong winds.

The storms destroyed public buildings and facilities including Alula main hospital, schools, police stations and local administration offices. A number of private buildings have also been affected. In addition, access roads were blocked while boats and fishing gear were either destroyed or washed away. More than 10,000 animals were also affected and date palms and fruits trees destroyed or uprooted. Assessments and response are ongoing.

Humanitarian coordination and response:

Humanitarian partners continue to scale up response to people affected by flooding. The Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) cluster has intensified hygiene promotion activities have been intensified in areas affected by flooding such as Bardheere, Belet Weyne Buur Hakaba and Kismayo. Community mobilization and mass campaigns are currently ongoing to minimize risk of water-related diseases including acute watery diarrhea/cholera and malaria. Campaigns are mainly focused on promoting hygiene practices and eradicating open defecation. Hygiene kits and water purification tablets have been distributed to approximately 9,000 people. Partners distributed hygiene kits to 7,800 people in Galgaduud, while collaborating with the government on hygiene promotion campaigns against open defecation. In Gedo region, the provision of safe water is ongoing in internally displaced person’s settlements in Dollow and Luuq. In Hiraan region, 5,000 hygiene kits are available for distribution. In Puntland, the WASH cluster mobilized resources to assist an estimated 6,700 people with hygiene items and water chlorination tablets. This was part of response to the appeal issued by the Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Management Agency (HADMA) in the wake of tropical cyclones Chapala and Megh. In Banadir and Lower Shabelle regions, rehabilitation of wells and drainage works to drain stagnant water are ongoing. So far, 2,000 sand bags have been distributed as part of the river bank stabilization activities. Meanwhile, strengthening of weak spots in river banks, low embankments and breakages in the Juba and Shabelle rivers are continuing in collaboration with authorities and communities.

Partners are conducting assessments in Lower Juba to identify needs to guide further response. Rehabilitation of shallow wells, cholera awareness campaigns and community mobilizations are ongoing. Hygiene kits have also been distributed to 4,500 people. In Banadir, the affected internally displaced people are reconstructing their damaged shelters. The Banadir Regional Administration has committed to collect garbage and improve sanitation in affected settlement. Partners are making preparations to address the needs in affected areas across Mogadishu. In Middle Shabelle, a multi-sectoral assessment (SIRNA) to identify needs is ongoing in the affected areas in Balcad, Jowhar and Mahaday districts. Full findings are expected within the next week and response is already ongoing in the area. Response activities such as river embankment, awareness raising and distribution of sandbags, hygiene kits, water purification tablets and soap are ongoing in all flood prone areas.

On 11 November, the Deputy Prime Minister of Somalia convened an Inter-Ministerial Committee on El Niño with participation of UN partners. Concerns were raised during the meeting about the impact of El Niño, in particular on internally displaced persons and about potential disease outbreaks. Animal health conditions and implications on livestock exports licenses were also discussed. The need for strong coordination between authorities and humanitarian partners at all levels was also noted, and it was agreed to organize regular policy and technical level exchanges on the impact and response to floods over the coming months.

In preparation for further flooding along the Juba and Shabelle rivers, OCHA is working with clusters on a capacity and gaps analysis to determine the current ability to respond to further flooding. Pre-positioned stocks are so far expected to cover for food for an estimated 186,000 people for one month, NFI kits for 82,000 people and WASH hygiene kits for 300,000 people, as well as health supplies for 577,000 people for three months. This is complemented by cash programming that will be made available in areas where markets are functioning.

The above has been possible thanks in part to early funding estimated at US$14 million specifically to preparedness and response to El Niño in Somalia. In total, humanitarian partners foresee that an estimated $30 million is required for preparedness and immediate response in 2015. In the event of a worst case scenario with 500,000 to 900,000 people affected by floods, it is estimated that an additional $35 million could be required to save lives and livelihoods in flood affected areas before the end of the year. The Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) for Somalia is currently funded at 37 per cent with $317 million reported against $863 million requested. An additional $212 million has been reported outside the HRP.

The Somalia Inter-agency Contingency Plan for El Niño is available here:

For SWALIM technical rainfall and flood update please visit: For more information or to receive our reports as attachment, contact: Tapiwa Gomo Head of Communication,, Tel. (+254) 731043197, or Kenneth Odiwuor,, Tel. (+254) 734800120

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit