Friday May 19, 2023
Almost 250,000 people in central Somalia have had to flee their homes after a river flooded the town of Beledweyne.The UN is warning that the floodwaters could also hit Bulo Burde town, some 110 km (68 miles) away.
People had to shelter under trees after the Shabelle river burst its banks, meaning 99% of those living in the town and surrounding areas are now homeless, Hirshabelle State Interior Minister Abdirahmaan Dahir Gure told BBC Somali.
Climate change is believed to have played a large role. According to Somali government officials, heavy downpours in Somalia and upstream in the Ethiopian highlands triggered flash floods that washed away homes, crops, and livestock.
Somalia is just starting to recover from the worst drought in several decades after almost five successive rainy seasons failed, triggering a near-catastrophic humanitarian situation.
According to the UN, the rains are recharging water sources and helping vegetation to grow but it will take much more sustained rainfall to alleviate the impact of the recent drought.
However this increases the risk of flooding.