SOMALIA: Heavy Rains Affect 770,000 People

Published: April 22, 2024

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported Sunday that rains and floods looming in 22 districts of Somalia are expected to affect some 770,000 people.

According to OCHA, the Gu rains from April to June have started in most regions of the country, with heavy rainfall in some areas, but no flash or riverine flooding has yet been reported.

In its latest humanitarian update, the organization stated, “Humanitarian workers have developed a plan to mitigate the expected impact of the Gu rains, but need urgent resources to ensure a timely response.”

The UN agency added that some 51 boats are available to evacuate people and provide assistance in priority locations along the Shabelle and Juba rivers. It said assistance is also ready in areas that may become isolated or to evacuate people who may be stranded.

“In various hotspot locations, partners are conducting gap analysis and engaging in early warning and community awareness activities especially in evacuation sites,” OCHA said.

The rains, however, have brought relief to pastoralists and agro-pastoralists throughout the country, regenerating pastures and filling water points.

In late 2023, heavy Deyr (October to December) rains and flooding displaced 1.6 million people from their homes, according to the UN. Last month, OCHA warned that the heavy rains are also expected to trigger cholera outbreaks in areas where the disease has not been observed in years.

OCHA said it has joined with partners and Somali health authorities to intensify response and preparedness activities, guided by a six-month action plan requiring US$5.9 million for implementation.