Following devastation caused by heavy rains in Somalia, UN humanitarians said on Monday that they are developing a national flood preparedness and response strategy in collaboration with the authorities.
“According to preliminary estimates by our partners, more than 460,000 people have been affected, including nearly 219,000 people who have been displaced,” the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) stated. “Homes and farmland have been flooded, livestock has been washed away, and schools and health facilities have been temporarily closed.”
The humanitarian office announced on Tuesday that it and its partner would conduct a fast needs assessment.
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP) sent text messages to 5,000 farmers in Hirshabelle State, where the Shabelle River flooded its banks, forcing many to flee to higher land, according to OCHA.
The FAO and partners, according to the office, delivered sandbags, shovels, and other materials to help clear drains and mitigate flooding in Hirshabelle. The World Food Programme is sending 17 tons of high-energy biscuits as well as boats to reach people in flooded areas.
“Should heavy rains continue in Somalia and the Ethiopian highlands, our partners estimate that up to 1.6 million people could be impacted, with more than 600,000 people displaced,” according to OCHA. “The rains also increase the risk of outbreaks of waterborne diseases.”
According to the office, the destruction implies that more money are required because the humanitarian response plan for Somalia, which requires 2.6 billion US dollars, is just 25% funded.