Somalia – 20 Killed in Jubaland Flash Floods

At least 20 people have lost their lives after sudden flash floods in the district of Bardhere, situated on the Jubba River in the Jubaland State of Somalia.

Officials from the Somali Disaster Management Agency (SoDMA) assess the damage after severe floods in Bardhere. Photo: SoDMA

The Jubba River at Baardheere jumped from around 4 metres to 8.78 metres on 24 March 2023. The danger level here is around 8.10 metres.

Levels of the Jubba River (shown in green) at Baardheere increased rapidly from 24 to 25 March 2023. Image: FAO SWALIM

Officials from the Somali Disaster Management Agency (SoDMA) visited the district and confirmed that 20 people have died and 2 were injured.

In a statement of 25 March, SoDMA said it is the worst flood to hit the area in almost a decade. Hundreds of homes have been damaged and a bridge destroyed. The floods swept away food storages and wiped out acres of food crops with dire consequences for local communities. Around 8,000 residents of two camps for Internally Displaced People (IDP) were affected.

Thousands of people are struggling in the face of devastating floods across the Bardhere district and need urgent support, SoDMA said. Two planes of relief supplies including food, medicines and clothes have been sent to the affected communities.

The UN reported rainfall in several areas of Somalia over the last few days, signalling an early start of the Gu rainy season which usually ruins from April to June. Heavy rain in the Ethiopian Highlands has also made its way downstream, increasing river levels in Somalia, the UN said.

Flash flooding cut off electricity in Cadaado and Dhuusamarreeb towns in Galmudug State on 22 March. Roads were damaged and some communities were left isolated. Others were forced to evacuate. Flash floods in Jalam town, Burtinle District, Puntland State, displaced hundreds and damaged property.

Somalia’s Ministry of Energy and Water Resources reported that Dinsoor, Qansax-Dheere and Baydhaba districts recorded over 200 mm of rain in a week. Flows along the Jubba river are still high and an increase in levels of the Shebele river poses a high risk of flooding in Beldweyne, the Ministry warned. Further rain was expected, in particular in the South and North West of the country.

Officials from the Somali Disaster Management Agency (SoDMA) assess the damage after severe floods in Bardhere. Photo: SoDMA

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