Government figures indicate over 45,000 people have been affected by heavy flooding in Jowhar district of Middle Shabelle Region, Somalia. This is due to climate change, and the country is now recording more wet and dry weather events, often with disastrous consequences for the people facing such extremes. It has become even more difficult to predict such sequential events.

Elderly, women and children are extremely struggling to survive while the worst is likely yet to come. The threat of waterborne diseases has risen, especially for children. Following the devastations caused by the heavy flooding, people are now sheltering in flood-prone areas.

With limited access to food, shelters, save drinking water and proper sanitary facilities, it's a ticking time bomb for disease outbreaks like cholera and malaria.

There are huge fears that the floodwaters will spread to other villages in Jowhar district. Villages those extremely affected by the heavy flooding are Baarey, Moyko, Libiga, Haansholey, Dhaaygawaan, Buulo-Mohamed Farah, Mohamed Dhiblawe, Bananey, Damasha, and Liinta.

The floods had also washed away crops on farmland totalling up to 10,000 hectares. Some of the devastated farms were in the early stages of being harvested.

Photo: Abdulkadir/NRC.
Somalia

A mother’s struggle to survive Somalia’s floods

“We have decided to remain here until the water dries out. We don’t have food, shelter or safe drinking water. There are lots of mosquitoes here and my children are sick,” says Nurto. She and her children were forced to evacuate their home in recent heavy flooding.

Government figures indicate over 45,000 people have been affected by the heavy flooding that hit the Jowhar district of southern Somalia on 10 May 2021.

The climate appears to be changing and the country is now recording more wet and dry weather events, which are becoming ever more difficult to predict. The consequences for the people affected are often disastrous.

Older people, women and children are already struggling to survive, and the worst may be yet to come. Following the devastation caused by the recent heavy flooding, people are now sheltering in flood-prone areas.

The threat of waterborne diseases has risen, especially for children. With limited access to food, shelter, safe drinking water and proper sanitary facilities, the situation is a ticking time bomb for disease outbreaks like cholera and malaria.

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Government figures indicate over 45,000 people have been affected by heavy flooding in Jowhar district of Middle Shabelle Region, Somalia. This is due to climate change, and the country is now recording more wet and dry weather events, often with disastrous consequences for the people facing such extremes. It has become even more difficult to predict such sequential events.

Elderly, women and children are extremely struggling to survive while the worst is likely yet to come. The threat of waterborne diseases has risen, especially for children. Following the devastations caused by the heavy flooding, people are now sheltering in flood-prone areas.

With limited access to food, shelters, save drinking water and proper sanitary facilities, it's a ticking time bomb for disease outbreaks like cholera and malaria.

There are huge fears that the floodwaters will spread to other villages in Jowhar district. Villages those extremely affected by the heavy flooding are Baarey, Moyko, Libiga, Haansholey, Dhaaygawaan, Buulo-Mohamed Farah, Mohamed Dhiblawe, Bananey, Damasha, and Liinta.

The floods had also washed away crops on farmland totalling up to 10,000 hectares. Some of the devastated farms were in the early stages of being harvested.

Photo: Abdulkadir/NRC.
Read caption An aerial view of Baarey village, one of the flood-affected villages in Jowhar district. Photo: Abdulkadir/NRC

“We need immediate help”

Nurto Isse, 40, is a widow and a mother of nine children. She lost everything she owned in the flooding when it reached her home in Baarey village. She told us that her house was full of water, with dishes, clothes and jerry cans floating. She and her family have been sleeping in an open field for the past few days.

“It was midnight when the flood waters started to rise in my village. I heard people yelling and calling out for help. I hurriedly woke up my daughter, and then we made our escape from the rising waters. I quickly started to lead my children to a makeshift shelter on higher ground,” Nurto says.

Government figures indicate over 45,000 people have been affected by heavy flooding in Jowhar district of Middle Shabelle Region, Somalia. This is due to climate change, and the country is now recording more wet and dry weather events, often with disastrous consequences for the people facing such extremes. It has become even more difficult to predict such sequential events.

Elderly, women and children are extremely struggling to survive while the worst is likely yet to come. The threat of waterborne diseases has risen, especially for children. Following the devastations caused by the heavy flooding, people are now sheltering in flood-prone areas.

With limited access to food, shelters, save drinking water and proper sanitary facilities, it's a ticking time bomb for disease outbreaks like cholera and malaria.

There are huge fears that the floodwaters will spread to other villages in Jowhar district. Villages those extremely affected by the heavy flooding are Baarey, Moyko, Libiga, Haansholey, Dhaaygawaan, Buulo-Mohamed Farah, Mohamed Dhiblawe, Bananey, Damasha, and Liinta.

The floods had also washed away crops on farmland totalling up to 10,000 hectares. Some of the devastated farms were in the early stages of being harvested.

Photo: Abdulkadir/NRC.
Read caption Nurto’s house was completely devastated by the heavy flooding. She and her children escaped with their lives. Photo: Abdulkadir/NRC

“My children haven’t eaten anything in the last few days. They were asking for food. I don’t know where to get food. We don’t have a proper house to shelter from the rains. We were unable to rescue our food and household items before we left,” Nurto continues.

“We are already displaced from our original home. We have decided to remain here until the water dries out. We don’t have food, shelter or safe drinking water. There are lots of mosquitoes here. My children are sick. Mosquitos have bitten them all over.

“We need immediate help to rebuild our life and get out of this situation. The flooding not only destroyed our houses but also washed away our farmland, crops and livestock.”

Government figures indicate over 45,000 people have been affected by heavy flooding in Jowhar district of Middle Shabelle Region, Somalia. This is due to climate change, and the country is now recording more wet and dry weather events, often with disastrous consequences for the people facing such extremes. It has become even more difficult to predict such sequential events.

Elderly, women and children are extremely struggling to survive while the worst is likely yet to come. The threat of waterborne diseases has risen, especially for children. Following the devastations caused by the heavy flooding, people are now sheltering in flood-prone areas.

With limited access to food, shelters, save drinking water and proper sanitary facilities, it's a ticking time bomb for disease outbreaks like cholera and malaria.

There are huge fears that the floodwaters will spread to other villages in Jowhar district. Villages those extremely affected by the heavy flooding are Baarey, Moyko, Libiga, Haansholey, Dhaaygawaan, Buulo-Mohamed Farah, Mohamed Dhiblawe, Bananey, Damasha, and Liinta.

The floods had also washed away crops on farmland totalling up to 10,000 hectares. Some of the devastated farms were in the early stages of being harvested.

Photo: Abdulkadir/NRC.
Read caption One of Nurto’s children, Maryan, 8, stands in front of their makeshift shelter on the higher ground above Baarey village. Photo: Abdulkadir/NRC

Emergency aid

The flooding not only destroyed houses, but also cut the road connecting Jowhar to Mogadishu and Beletweyne. Those wanting to access the town must now use boats for transport.

The floods have also washed away some 10,000 hectares of crops. Some of the farms affected were in the early stages of harvesting. There are fears that the floodwaters will spread to other villages in Jowhar district.

The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) is on the frontline, responding to the emergency with unconditional cash transfers funded by EU Humanitarian Aid (ECHO). NRC’s team on the ground has already started the registration of 1,000 people affected by the flooding to provide cash-based assistance to meet their immediate needs.

Read more about our work in Somalia