Read caption Photo: Mukhtar Nuur/NRC

Statement on the flooding in Somalia

Published 08. May 2020
Country Director for the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) in Somalia Victor Moses said:

“Five crises are striking Somalia all at once. On top of ongoing conflict, Covid-19, a worsening locust infestation and a looming hunger crisis, flash flooding has now ripped through multiple parts of the country destroying homes and livelihoods.

“Over 200,000 people have been affected by flooding leaving 16 people dead and 70,000 displaced. Our teams are meeting people whose farms have been inundated with water, small business owners that have had everything destroyed. The flooding compounds additional hardships created by Covid-19, our emergency response capacity is reduced and faces even more challenges than usual. We have been able to provide basic shelter, hygiene kits and food support to those living in affected areas but we are worried about their exposure to additional risk of disease – not only Covid-19 but waterborne diseases like cholera.

“Heavy rain and flooding is set to continue throughout the month of May. While we understand the global focus is currently on the pandemic, we urge the international community to ensure equal attention is given to all aspects of this humanitarian crisis and that sufficient support is given to vulnerable people dependent on assistance.”

Notes to Editors:

Please find flood images for free use here.

  • As of May 5, over 200,000 people have been affected by flooding, of whom 70,000 have been displaced and 16 killed, in 19 districts across Somalia.
  • Heavy rains caused flash floods in northern regions and riverine flooding along the Juba River in the south.
  • More rain is forecasted in the coming week in the Juba and Shabelle river basins, while there will be a slight reduction in the northern regions.
  • Moderate to high flood risk is likely to persist at least through mid-May, threatening urban and riverine populations, including in Belet Weyne (Hiran) and Jowhar (Middle Shabelle).
  • Heavy flooding comes at a time Somalia is facing the Covid-19 pandemic and a threat of desert locusts infestation. The confirmed number of Covid-19 cases is edging towards 1,000 but is likely to be much higher. The floods currently represent the most pressing emergency for Somalis.

For more information or interviews please contact:

Global Media Adviser, Catriona Loughran on +47 909 25528 or email: catriona.loughran@nrc.no.