Status of Juba and Shabelle River Breakages - Sep 2016
The Deyr 2016 (October to November) rainfall forecast points towards near-normal to below-normal rains within the Juba and Shabelle River basins. However, flooding along the two rivers may still occur, especially in areas with open river banks / weak river embankments, in the event of increased river flow. SWALIM has updated the status of the river breakages by mapping them using available Very High Resolution (VHR) satellite imagery and a Digital Elevation Model (DEM); as well as verifications based on field observations where feasible. Three types of breakages have been identified, namely; open, potential and closed. The open breakages are those that are still open during the month of September 2016. The potential breakages represent points that have weak river embankments or have experienced breakages in the recent past and where minimal or no interventions have taken place. This includes breakages closed using sand bags. The closed breakages are those that were previously open but have since been closed using heavy machinery, which prevents further flooding in the short to medium term. The attached maps show the open and potential river breakages along the two rivers. In summary, seven (7) open points along the Shabelle and 63 along the Juba have been identified. Several other points with potential of breaking have been identified and need to be strengthened. It is worth noting, however, that the methodology relies heavily on satellite images with limited field verification. Open breakages might have been omitted in some cases where satellite images may not have been very clear (e.g. heavy cloud cover) or were not available at all. Maps of the status of river breakages, with detailed information, have been produced at large scale and hard copies can be obtained from SWALIM offices. This information is also available on the SWALIM Flood Risk and Response Management Information System (http://frrims.faoswalim.org/rivers/breakages).
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