UN says heavy rains kill at least 25 over past week in Somalia

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FILE PHOTO: Residents walk through flooded streets in Beledweyne, north of Mogadishu on May 26, 2016. (Photo credit: MOHAMED ABDIWAHAB/AFP via Getty Images)

At least 25 people have been killed in the past seven days due to heavy rains pounding several parts of Somalia.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said among the dead include 14 children and seven internally displaced people.

OCHA said riverine flooding has affected an estimated 25,000 people in 15 villages in Jowhar in Middle Shabelle region, displacing people in eight villages and inundating farms.

The heavy rains have hit various parts of Somalia over the past week, triggering flash floods that have killed and displaced people, but a forecast suggests the rains will begin to subside from mid-May.

The Somalia Water and Land Information Management (SWALIM) managed by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations on Saturday warned of an imminent danger of potentially unprecedented flooding expected along the Shabelle River in the coming days and the concern for the safety and wellbeing of the people in Beledweyne and along the river.

OCHA said Juba River reportedly has broken its bank in Doolow, reaching 4.70 meters, which is 0.20 meters above the moderate flooding level, and flooding three villages.

It said the heavy rains on April 30 flooded the dry river valley in Hargeisa in Somaliland, affecting around 40 houses and washing away seven vehicles.

The floods also temporarily affected some of the internally displaced people who are living in sub-standard shelters.

In addition, the UN agency said, flash floods washed away over 1,250 heads of livestock and damaged shelters in low-lying areas of Ceel Daahir under Bossaso district and Berri Cad under Garowe between April 27 and May 5.

According to OCHA, despite the heavy rains that have hit parts of Somalia, the rains have come too late for the planting season, hence further exacerbating already significant food security concerns in the country.

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