Thousands of people in Somalia are at immediate risk from imminent floods as river levels in parts of the country continue to rise. The Shabelle River has risen at an alarming rate over the past week due to unprecedented and excessive rains. Rains on the upper parts of the Ethiopian highlands are causing large volumes of water to flow rapidly towards Somalia. As with the previous 3 years, FAO’s SWALIM flood bulletin released today, warns of a flood wave likely to inundate Belet Weyne, one of the largest cities in Somalia, in the coming days. The level of damage expected could supersede the mitigation and risk measures that have already been implemented, such as rehabilitating river embankments and, as in recent years, a limited evacuation from flood prone areas and extensive crop damage is likely to result.
Channel crest overflow is forecast between May 10-13 along the Shabelle River, particularly within the Hiran and Middle Shabelle Regions, affecting both urban and rural communities. To reduce the risk to human lives and livelihoods, an urgent and collective response is required. “It is time to act to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the people who will be affected by this unprecedented flood. A coordinated effort at all levels is required to mitigate the impact on the lives and livelihoods of those at risk,” emphasized Ezana Kassa, Head of Programme for FAO in Somalia.
Source : Fao