Somalia’s Ministry of Environment and Climate Change has issued a stern warning against the potential threat posed by the anticipated El Niño flooding in Southern Somalia, during the annual rainy season this October.

The Ministry stated heavy rainfall in Ethiopia may cause severe flooding of river Shabelle and Jubba, affecting the surrounding areas, including Beledweyne, Afgoye, Jowhar, Bardhere, Luuq, Dolow, Kismayo, Beled Haawo, Jalalaqsi, and Balcad District.

“Recent data received by the Ministry during the initial week of October suggests that the highlands in neighboring Ethiopia are poised to receive heavy rainfall, with estimates ranging from 150mm to 200mm,” the statement reads.

“This substantial precipitation carries the potential to culminate in severe flooding, placing the lives of farmers and livestock at significant risk in these vulnerable riverine areas,” the statement added.

In addition to regions surrounding the Shabelle and Jubba rivers, the Ministry has projected considerable rainfall in various other regions.

  • Bakool Region: 100mm to 200mm
  • Bay Region: 50mm to 150mm
  • Middle Jubba: 25mm to 100mm
  • Lower Jubba: 25mm to 50mm
  • Galgaduud: 150mm to 200mm
  • Galmudug: 50mm to 150mm

The Ministry underscored the flood-related damages during the season leading to loss of lives, destruction of properties like houses and agricultural farms, and displacement of thousands of families.

“The recurring issue of flood-related damage during the rainy season has had severe repercussions in numerous areas, resulting in the tragic loss of life and property, and the displacement of numerous individuals who have been compelled to abandon their homes, often without secure refuge,” the statement added.

The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change expresses deep concerns over this impending crisis and the imminent danger posed by potential floods.

The Ministry urged all citizens, particularly those residing in riverine regions, to exercise the utmost vigilance and adopt extraordinary measures to protect themselves and their communities during this rainy season.

Furthermore, the Ministry calls upon citizens to stay informed, take preventive actions, and cooperate with local authorities to mitigate the impact of the anticipated flooding.

This advisory follows a warning issued by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) four days ago, highlighting the risk of flooding in the Shabelle and Jubba rivers ahead of the anticipated rains and El Niño floods expected to hit the highlands of Ethiopia and Somalia in mid-October.

According to Fao, there are 196 areas where rivers could flood, with 170 locations along the Shabelle River and 26 along the Jubba River.

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