Somalia flood crisis update: 118 dead, 2.48 million affected, receding waters amid ongoing humanitarian efforts

'Once-in-a-century' flood disaster strikes Somalia: Over 450 000 displaced, 1.2 million affected and 32 fatalities reported

Somalia’s severe flooding crisis sees a slight improvement as waters start to recede in some regions, but the humanitarian impact remains critical, with 118 deaths, 2.48 million affected, and 899 000 displaced as of December 12, 2023.

Since early October, relentless rainfall led to significant flooding across Somalia, with rivers overflowing their banks, causing extensive damage and increasing casualties. This crisis marked a significant shift from earlier drought conditions to severe flooding, positioning it as one of the worst in Somalia’s history.

Between December 5 and 10, 2023, dry conditions have led to receding waters in some parts of the country, but despite this slight improvement, the situation remains dire.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) reports significant casualties and displacements due to the floods: 118 people have lost their lives, while 2.48 million have been affected. The situation regarding displacement is also concerning, with 899 000 individuals forced to leave their homes.

Helicopters and boats are crucial in the current scenario, as they are being used to access inundated areas and deliver essential supplies.

The floods have not only displaced thousands but have also led to a spike in waterborne diseases. In recent weeks, there has been an increase in suspected cases of measles, malaria, and cholera – diseases that pose a significant threat to the already vulnerable population.

Forecasters predict drier conditions over the next 24 hours across most of Somalia.

This update follows our previous report on November 29, 2023, when the impact of the Deyr rainy season stood at 2 million people, with 746 000 displaced and 96 deaths.

The floods have severely impacted both the population and infrastructure. An estimated 4 700 houses were destroyed across 34 districts, leaving many without shelter or basic amenities. The southwestern regions of Somalia, including Bay, Gedo, Middle Juba, and others, were among the most severely affected.

In response to this crisis, around 145 organizations, primarily non-governmental, have been actively providing aid and relief. Their efforts cover essential services such as water, sanitation, hygiene, shelter, food supply, and healthcare.

The country, which had been grappling with a ‘once-in-a-century’ flood disaster as reported on November 15, is now experiencing a temporary stabilization in conditions, despite the extensive challenges posed by the recent severe flooding.

References:

1 Floods in Somalia – DG ECHO – December 12, 2023

2 Severe floods in Somalia affect 2 million, displace 746 000 and destroy 4 700 houses – The Watchers – November 29, 2023

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