At least 214,000 people have been temporarily displaced from their homes across Somalia since October due to flooding caused by heavy rains, the UN agency OCHA said on Monday.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in its latest Floods Update that displacements have occurred in the South West, Jubaland, Hirshabelle and Galmudug states as well as the Banadir region.
“The lower areas along the Shabelle River have remained inundated since July following heavy Hagaa (July-September) rains within the Shabelle basin in Somalia and the Ethiopian highlands,” said OCHA.
It said most displacements occurred in the two worst-affected regions in the Shabelle River basin, Lower Shabelle (South West State) and Middle Shabelle (Hirshabelle State).
In Baidoa town, South West State, the UN agency said more than 66,000 people including IDPs have been affected, of whom 6,000 have been displaced.
On Oct. 28, OCHA said some 35 people have died while nearly 1.6 million others have been affected by flooding between January and September.
The UN relief agency said thousands of hectares of farmland have been inundated particularly along the river basins, increasing the risk of water-borne diseases.
The Somali authorities and aid agencies are appealing for urgent assistance especially clean drinking water, emergency shelter and food.
According to OCHA, assistance is also required to drain stagnant water in order to mitigate the risk of water-borne diseases and to re-enforce sand barriers along river breakage points.
The 2020 Deyr rainy season has started with moderate to significantly heavy rains reported in Puntland and central regions of Hiraan, Bakool, Galgaduud, Mudug, Nugaal and southern areas of Sool region.
It said vulnerable communities due to persistent climatic shocks, locust infestation and the COVID-19 pandemic, are already facing severe food and water scarcity and are at risk of deadly communicable diseases such as cholera outbreak and acute watery diarrhea.