The Norwegian Refugee Council said that heavy flooding in Somalia has affected hundreds of thousands of people in the month of April, with more heavy rain expected in the week
The non-governmental organisation said over 427.000 people had been affected by floods and that the displaced were housed in shelters without proper toilets, where they could potentially be affected by a disease outbreak.
“Our staff on the ground have seen the elderly, women and children struggling to survive while their flimsy shelters are knee-high full of stagnant water. And worst is likely yet to come. Countless displaced communities are sheltering in flood-prone areas. With limited access to proper toilets and clean water, it’s a ticking time bomb for disease outbreaks like cholera and malaria,” said Victor Moses, Somalia country director for Norwegian Refugee Council.
“My labour pains started in the middle of the rains. The flooding came into my house and the floods pushed us to seek refuge in a neighbouring community. I’m staying there until the water dries out,” said one displaced mother in Baidoa town, where about 174,000 people have been affected by flooding.
According to the UN, at least three people have died from the flooding, including two children.
Flooding is expected to continue in the low-lying areas of the Juba and Shabelle river basins.
Across Somalia, 1.5mn people are in need of proper shelters. The heavy flooding has added to the urgency in a country where over a million people have been displaced due to drought and conflict since last year.