Tuesday October 24, 2023
Flash floods caused by heavy rains have killed at least four people in Somalia, said the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in its latest situation report.
Three people died in the Baidoa district, in southwest Somalia, and a 13-year-old girl drowned in a village in Galmudug state, the central part of the country, OCHA said in the report titled “Somalia: Deyr rainy season 2023 Flash Update No. 2” released Monday, adding that the seasonal Deyr (October to December) rains and related flash floods continue to be reported in several parts of the country.
According to preliminary reports by partners and community elders in Baidoa, at least 122,000 people or 20,347 families have been affected by the rains and flash floods since Oct. 4, including 92,000 internally displaced people living in 178 settlements in the district.
OCHA said that humanitarian partners are working closely with the relevant government agencies on emergency response, preparedness and anticipatory action where applicable.
“Communities in affected areas have been advised to remain vigilant and move to higher safer ground,” OCHA said, noting that the rains have resulted in significant flash floods, destruction or damage of shelters, roads, buildings and bridges, as well as temporary displacement, mainly of internally displaced people in settlements.
According to OCHA, displaced people, the majority of whose settlements are located in low-lying areas, remain most vulnerable to flooding.
“The risk of waterborne diseases and other health hazards is likely to increase due to contamination of water sources and stagnant water,” OCHA said. “Limited access to the affected areas due to impassable roads continues to hinder and delay timely access and assessments in affected areas.
The UN agency estimates that 1.2 million people and 1.5 million hectares of productive land are at high risk of flooding in Somalia.