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Floods kill 16 in Somalia, affect over 200,000 others

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) on Wednesday said no fewer than 16 people have died while over 200,000 others have been affected by torrential rains and riverine floods.

OCHA said 10 other people are missing due to floods and no less than 2,000 farms have been swamped by water.

“The rains are likely to increase the risk of water-borne diseases,” OCHA warned in its latest report on the impact of floods in Somalia.

The forecast by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) indicated that the moderate to high flood risk would likely persist through mid-May.

This, the UN says, threatens urban and riverine populations, including in BeletWeyne (Hiraan) and Jowhar (Middle Shabelle) of Hirshabelle state.

According to the UN, river levels have risen along the Shabelle basin and there is a high risk of flooding in coming days and advised riverine communities in BeletWeyne to prepare for possible relocation during the week.

The UN said the most impact has been felt in Puntland where a heavy downpour on April 27 killed eight people and displaced over 22,000 people, and in Galmudug where six people have died and about 22,000 others are affected by floods.

It said over 100,000 people in South West State have been affected by floods while Jubaland has over 11,800 flood-affected displaced families reported in Lower Juba region.

The UN agency warned that the ongoing Gu (rainy season)’s flooding will exacerbate the humanitarian situation, joining the COVID-19 pandemic and locust infestation to form a “Triple Threat”.

It said disruptions to transport due to damaged roads and COVID-19 restrictions have pushed food prices up in some affected areas. (Xinhua/NAN)

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