FLOODS AND RAINS UPDATE
Compared to the previous three weeks, there has been a reduction of rainfall activities in most parts of Somalia as well as the Ethiopian highlands. However, moderate to heavy rains were recorded in Bay and Bakool regions and a few places within the Shabelle in the last couple of days. The northern parts of the country remained mostly dry. The good rains received so far have continued to replenish water sources further improving pasture growth and reducing water stress. There has been an improvement in livestock body conditions and milk production as well.
While the river levels in Shabelle continued to increase reaching maximum holding capacity in Belet Weyne, there was a reduction of river levels along the Juba.
Shabelle River: In Belet Weyne and surrounding areas, river levels reached its maximum carrying capacity on 24 October 2019 and has remained so up to date leading to overflow which has left most the town under water. Reports so far indicate tens of people have drowned or are missing. Satellite image analysis further indicate inundation of more than 2,000 Hectares of agricultural land. In Middle Shabelle floods have damaged more than 10,000 hectares of cropland at Jowhar and Mahaday Weyne following high river levels and open river breakages. In Jowhar, the river level reached the high flood risk level since late August, and has been fluctuating within this level to date. The river levels are expected to remain high along the entire channel of Shabelle as more waters from the Ethiopian highlands are still streaming in. High risk of flooding remains along the Shabelle in the coming week. Existence of river breakages (39 points identified and reported by SWALIM in September 2019) is likely to escalate the flooding situation unless urgent measures are taken.
Juba River: Along Juba River the levels dropped gradually over the last week. Bardheere town in Gedo however remained inundated and the situation has started to improve in the last few days. The levels are expected to fluctuate in the coming week with a Moderate risk of flooding towards the end of the week.
In Bay and Bakool regions: Heavy rains resulted into flash floods destroying cropland (sorghum, maize and cowpeas). Bur Hakaba, Baardale, Huddur and Qansadheere districts were the most affected. Moderate risk of flooding remain in this area.
Puntland, Somaliland and Central regions: A tropical storm named KYARR has been developing in the northern Indian Ocean and is expected to reach Puntland and Somaliland in the next 72 Hours. Light to moderate rains and winds of low to medium strength will be experienced in both coastal and inland areas of these regions starting on 02 and 03 November 2019. It is advisable to take the necessary precautions since the winds associated with the tropical storm might lead to destruction of weak structures. Flash floods are also foreseen in these areas.
The rainfall forecast for the coming week shows an increase of rainfall activities in many parts of Somalia. As a result, the current high river levels, and ongoing riverine flooding, along the Juba and Shabelle rivers are expected to continue in the coming week. Flash floods will also be experienced in low-lying areas where moderate rains are expected.