Somalia: 2023 Flash and Riverine Floods Situation Report No. 1 (as of 14 May 2023)

  • Floods caused by the Gu rains in Somalia have affected over 460,000 people and displaced nearly 219,000 as of mid-May 2023. The Shabelle river has overflowed, causing significant damage to Belet Weyne town and surrounding areas. Although the ongoing rains are expected to recharge surface water sources and regenerate vegetation, it will require much more rainfall to effectively alleviate the impact of the recent drought. Partners are implementing a national Flood Preparedness and Response Plan but urgently need funding to meet increasing needs.
  • Heavy rains in Somalia have led to flash and riverine flooding, with up to 1.6 million people and over 600,000 mostly in flood-prone areas being impacted. Four mobile clinics have closed due to being inundated, and an urgent appeal for assistance has been issued. On the positive side, the rains are recharging surface water sources and enabling vegetation to regenerate, important for human and livestock survival after six consecutive seasons of poor rainfall performance. Flash floods are also occurring in parts of Somaliland and Puntland State.
  • Flash floods caused by heavy rainfall have displaced thousands of people across Somalia. Many towns, particularly in Galmudug and Hirshabelle states, lack proper drainage systems and are prone to flooding. The flooding has caused damage to infrastructure, shops, and health centers, and poses a risk of waterborne diseases. Thousands of families require urgent assistance with food, shelter, and healthcare. The Somalia government and aid agencies are appealing for urgent rehabilitation of water catchments and provision of emergency relief to those affected.
  • Flash floods have affected thousands of people in various regions of Somalia. Displaced families and poor urban residents living in flood-prone areas are the most affected. Despite ongoing efforts by humanitarian partners to mobilize resources and coordinate response, urgent needs for shelter, non-food items, health, and food assistance remain. The floods have also caused damage to businesses and blocked vulnerable residents. A national Flood Preparedness and Response Plan has been implemented, and cash assistance has been provided to over 111,000 people in the country. The Camp Coordination and Camp Management cluster has identified 155 sites in the most flood-prone districts.
  • The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has reported that several districts in Somalia, including Kismayo, Baardheere, Jowhar, Baidoa, and Belet Weyne, are facing extreme or high risk of flooding and around 192,130 displaced people are at risk. Cluster partners are providing emergency response tools, disseminating messages on flood risk, and conducting rapid needs assessments in affected locations. Additionally, many schools in flood-prone areas have been affected, and an estimated 178,000 school-children will require education-in-emergencies assistance. The Food Security Cluster is also in need of funding to provide lifesaving educational service to flood-affected school-going children.
  • Flash floods in Somalia have impacted thousands of families, destroying food reserves, farmland, and livestock. Emergency assistance, including food and restocking of livestock, is urgently needed to support those affected. Cluster partners are providing assistance with prioritization given to the most vulnerable populations such as female-headed households, households with acute malnourished children, and marginalized or minority groups. The goal is to help individuals and communities recover quickly and return to making a sustainable income through agriculture and other income-generating activities.
  • Floods in Somalia have caused various health and nutrition concerns. Early warnings and sensitization efforts have been made to riverine communities, while health partners provide aid to those affected. However, there are still gaps in food, shelter/NFIs, health and nutrition, latrines, sanitation facilities, and clean drinking water. The flooding has also caused an increase in acute malnutrition, diarrhea, and malaria prevalence, which cluster partners aim to address through prepositioned nutrition supplies. Strong advocacy is still needed to address all unmet needs.
  • The UN and its partners are increasing their response to the flooding in Somalia by establishing additional stabilization centers, improving the quality of care, providing access to WASH and hygiene kits, and registering families for NFI distribution. The lack of nutrition services and stabilization centers remain gaps and constraints. Protection partners are encouraged to prioritize women, the elderly, and child-led families in their response. Response efforts have included the distribution of NFI items, emergency cash support, food, psycho-social support, and child-friendly spaces.
  • A situation report on the flooding in Somalia highlights the need for aid in various areas, including public health, hygiene, shelter, and water. A significant number of displaced individuals, primarily women, and children, require shelter and non-food items. At the same time, damaged water and sanitation facilities have the potential to increase the risks of waterborne diseases. Despite efforts by cluster partners, funding is urgently needed to meet the increasing demand for assistance.
  • Floods in Somalia have damaged water sources and homes, affecting vulnerable communities. WASH partners are providing assistance through water treatment, rehabilitation of facilities, and hygiene promotions to reduce risks of disease. However, insufficient funding limits the scope of interventions and may increase mortality rates and outbreaks. The 2023 Humanitarian Response Plan is currently funded at 25%, posing challenges to addressing the floods’ impact. Climate change has disrupted typical weather patterns, leading to droughts and floods.

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