Somalia – Thousands Displaced by Flooding Shabelle River

Humanitarian organisations in Somalia report that flooding along the Shabelle River has forced thousands of families from their homes. Two young children reportedly died in the floods.

Floods in Middle Shabelle Region, Somalia, August 2021. Photo: ARD-AFRICAN

Non-governmental organization African Relief & Development (ARD-AFRICAN) reported flooding along the Shabelle River in areas between Jowhar and Balcad in Middle Shabelle region from 11 August 2021.

Several villages have been affected including Boodaale, where 2 children reportedly died and over 500 families moved from their homes to higher ground. Other villages along the river, including Xawaadleey, were also affected. A estimated total of 2,000 families have been displaced and 400 hectares of crops destroyed, ARD-AFRICAN said.

As of 15 August 2021, the Shabelle River at the measuring station in Jowhar was above moderate risk level (5 metres) standing at 5.10 metres, its highest level so far this year. High risk level here is 5.25 metres. The river has increased steadily over the last 3 weeks since levels fell in June and July. As of 27 July levels stood at just 2.5 metres.

Levels of the Shabelle River at Jowhar, Somalia, as of 15 August 2021. Image: FAO SWALIM

100,000 Displaced by Floods in May

Gu’ season rainfall in Somalia caused flooding and damages from late April / early May 2021 affecting hundreds of thousands across the country, including in .

As of 03 June, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported flooding across Somalia affected about 400,000 people in 14 districts from late April, of whom 101,300 people have been displaced from their homes.

Most affected people are in Middle Shabelle region where floods in Jowhar district displaced 66,000 people from 27 villages, destroyed over 40,000 hectares of farmland, disrupted learning in 11 schools and damaged 82 per cent of WASH infrastructures.

In Belet Weyne town, flooding caused by river breakages displaced nearly 22,000 people and destroyed 1,235 hectares of farmland. Humanitarian partners have scaled up assistance, reaching at least 82,000 affected people with lifesaving assistance including food, water and sanitation, hygiene, health and shelter.