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Somalia Rainfall Forecast - Issued: 18 September 2020

The Deyr 2020 rainy season (Sept/Oct—Dec) is expected to start in late September in the northern parts and mid October in the southern areas. However, some parts of the northern regions have been receiving rains since the first week of this month. On 16 and 17 September, heavy rains that led to flash floods and destruction of properties in KarKar district of Puntland were reported. About 300 people were affected by the flash floods in Duudhayo village. There was reduction of rainfall amounts within the Ethiopian highlands over the last week. This subsequently led to a slight reduction of river flow along the Shabelle River. However, river levels are still very high along the entire channel and flooding continue to be reported in parts of the riverine areas. In Belet Weyne and Bulo Burti, the river levels are still above the high flood risk level to date. The cumulative rainfall forecast for this week indicates moderate rains in Bari and Sanaag regions of Puntland and the coastal areas of Lower Shabelle and Lower Juba regions. Heavy rains are foreseen in the Ethiopian highlands during the week in forecast. This may lead to an increase of river levels along the Shabelle river thus increasing the risk of flooding especially in Hiraan region. Given the rainfall forecast and current situation along the two rivers, High Risk of flooding remains along the Shabelle while there is no risk of flooding foreseen along the Juba River.

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Somalia Rainfall Outlook for the 2020 Deyr Season Issued: 03 September 2020

Deyr (Sep/Oct-Dec) season rainfall is usually of shorter duration and less amount and intensity compared to Gu (April-June) season rainfall. However, they are beneficial in supporting seasonal agricultural activities and replenishing water and pasture resources. Generally, Deyr season starts in late September and ends in early December, but this varies from place to place across the country, with the northern regions receiving rainfall much earlier than southern regions. According to the recently issued Seasonal Climate Forecast issued by IGAD’s Climate Prediction and Applications Centre (ICPAC), the 2020 Deyr rains in Somalia are likely to be below normal to near normal with a 45 percent chance of experiencing below normal rains and a 30 chance of near normal rains in Somaliland, central and southern regions of the country. Similarly, the upper catchments of the Juba and Shabelle Rivers in neighboring Ethiopia are also expected to record below normal to near normal rainfall during the 2020 Deyr season ( Map 1. Most parts of Puntland have equal chances of (35%) of experiencing normal or above normal rains during the season. Further, the outlook predicts a delayed start of the season with warmer than normal temperatures.

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Somalia Rainfall Forecast - Issued: 24 September 2020

The early rains received in northern parts of Somalia since the first week of September continued to spread across the region over the last one week, marking an early start of the Deyr 2020 rainy season. Normally, the Sept/Oct—Dec rainy season is expected to start in late September in the northern parts and mid October in the southern areas of the country. The Ethiopian highlands, which contribute to the Juba and Shabelle river flow, continued to receive moderate rains over the last one week. River levels along the entire Shabelle River remained very high with flooding reported in parts of the riverine areas. In Belet Weyne and Bulo Burti the river levels are still above the high flood risk level to date, while in Jowhar the river is at moderate flood risk level. The cumulative rainfall forecast for this week indicates light to moderate rains spreading from the central to the northern parts of the country. Awdal Region will however will remain dry for the next one week. Bakool Region in the south is expected to receive light to moderate rains, while in the Ethiopian highlands there will be moderate to heavy rainfall over the same forecast period. This may lead to an increase of river levels along the Shabelle river thus increasing the risk of flooding especially in Hiraan and Middle Shabelle Regions. Given the rainfall forecast and current situation along the two rivers, High Risk of flooding remains along the Shabelle while there is no risk of flooding foreseen along the Juba River.

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Flood Update for River Shabelle - Issued: 03 September 2020

Moderate to heavy rains persisted in the upper parts of the Shabelle Basin within the Ethiopian highlands during the last week. Consequently, observed river levels of the Shabelle River in Somalia continued to rise. Today, the river level at Belet Weyne is 8.00m which only 0.30m away from bank-full level. Overbank spillage within Belet Weyne town could happen any time from now given the high river levels. Currently, Hawa-Hako and Hilaac sections of the district are flooded since mid August and unconfirmed number of people were displaced. Massive flooding has been reported 20km north of Belet Weyne town in the last 24 hours due to overbank spillage. A similar trend of exceptionally above normal river levels is being observed in Bulo Burti, Jalalaqsi, Mahadey weyne, Jowhar, Balcad and Afgooye districts with floods being reported in several points due to overbank flow and lateral flows from broken river banks. The flooding situation has been exacerbated by weak river embankments and open river banks. As of today, an estimated 132,000 ha of agricultural land and 294 villages along the Shabelle River have been affected by the Hagaa floods. The rainfall forecast for the coming week (03—10 September 2020) is pointing towards moderate to heavy rains within the upper parts of the Ethiopian highlands. Observed river levels along the Shabelle River are expected to continue rising further in the coming week following the foreseen rains. High risk of flooding is foreseen in Belet Weyne district. Flooding in the middle and lower reaches of the Shabelle will be sustained in the coming week given the current situation and the foreseen rains. Areas to watch include Jowhar town and its environs; where the river level is near full crest and other riverine towns in the Lower Shabelle region. Recent analysis by SWALIM indicates that there are 109 open river bank points along the Shabelle River.

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Somalia Rainfall Forecast - Issued: 28 September 2020

Light to moderate rains continued to spread in the northern parts of Somalia over the past one week; while many areas in the south remained dry over the same period. At the Ethiopian highlands, where majority of the flow along Juba and Shabelle Rivers originate from, moderate to heavy rains continued to be experienced over the last one week. River levels along the Shabelle reduced slightly in the upper reaches, but remain above the high flood risk levels at Belet Weyne and Bulo Burti. In Jowhar the river level has risen from last week’s levels, and today it is at 5.20m, which is only 5cm below the high flood risk level. The cumulative rainfall forecast for this week indicates light to moderate rains spread across the northern parts of the country. Parts of Bari, Nugaal, Sool and Sanaag Regions, are expected to receive high rainfall in the forecast period, which may lead to flash floods. The central parts of the country are expected to receive light to moderate rains, while most of the southern parts of the country will remain either dry or receive little rains in the coming week. Within the Ethiopian highlands the forecast indicates moderate to heavy rains within the forecast period. This may lead to an increase of river levels along the Shabelle river thus increasing the risk of flooding especially in Hiraan and Middle Shabelle Regions. Given the rainfall forecast and current situation along the two rivers, High Risk of flooding remains along the Shabelle while there is no risk of flooding foreseen along the Juba River.

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Flood Update - Issued 05 August 2020

Unusual Haggai (July—August) seasonal rains persisted in some parts of the southern regions of Somalia during the last week. The upper parts of the Ethiopian highlands also saw significant amounts of rainfall during the same period. Consequently, observed river levels of the Shabelle River in Somalia continued to rise over the last week. The current Shabelle river levels in Hiraan and Middle Shabelle regions are currently above the historical normal range while the levels are at bank full levels in Lower Shabelle. Flooding has been reported in parts of Belet Weyne district within Hawa-Hako and Hilaac sections displacing unconfirmed number of people. Other areas where floods have been reported include Mahadey Weyne and Jowhar, Balcad and Afgooye districts. The situation has been exacerbated by weak river embankments and open river banks especially in Jowhar and Balcad districts where more than 20, 000Ha of land remains inundated. The rainfall forecast for the coming week (04—10 August 2020) is pointing towards moderate to heavy rains within the upper parts of the Ethiopian highlands. Observed river levels along the Shabelle River are expected to continue rising further in the coming week following the foreseen rains. Flooding in the middle and lower reaches of the Shabelle will be sustained in the coming week given the current situation and the foreseen rains. Areas to watch include Jowhar town and its environs; where the river level is near full crest and other riverine towns in the Lower Shabelle region. There exists several open river bank points in these areas and this will only worsen the situation.

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Flood Update for Shabelle - Issued 11 August 2020

The Ethiopian highlands have received heavy rainfall since beginning of July 2020, which has caused significant increase in Shabelle river flow in Somalia. The river level at Belet Weyne today is 6.75m surpassing the moderate level of flooding in the area. In Bulo Burti, the levels are increasing steadily and today the river level is ta 5.40m, which is 1.10m meters below the moderate risk level of flooding. Flooding has been reported in Belet Weyne district following the existence of open river bank points and weak river embankments. According to analysis based on remotely sensed data, about 11 villages have been affected by the unusual floods while 6 km2 of agricultural land has been inundated in the district. This follows another flood season (Gu 2020) that saw massive destruction of properties in the area and damage of crops. It is worth noting that the existence of open river breakages and weak river embankments have exacerbated the flooding. Further, there has been massive sedimentation along the Shabelle River bed in the recent past, which has caused a rise in the riverbed with about 0.5 m. There are several ongoing efforts to mitigate the recurrent flooding in the district by the local communities, Hirshabelle authority and foreign aid. However, a long-term solution is needed which includes river basin management.

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Flood Update for Shabelle River - Issued 13 August 2020

During the last week, there was a reduction of rainfall amounts in the southern parts of Somalia. On 11th August, a heavy storm was observed in Somaliland in Salaxley area, about 60km south of Hargeisa. The rainfall station in that area recorded a total of 44mm in less than 24 hours. This led to a significant damage of infrastructure including schools, houses, roads, electricity and interruption of communication network in the area. Moderate to heavy rains persisted in the upper reaches of the Shabelle Basin in Ethiopia during the same period. Consequently, river levels at Belet Weyne and other stations along the Shabelle inside Somalia continued to rise. Todays’ river level at Belet Weyne is 6.85m which means less than half a meter below the high risk level of flooding. The rainfall forecast for the coming week (13-19 August 2020) is pointing towards moderate to heavy rains within the upper parts of the Ethiopian highlands. Little or no rains are foreseen in the basin within Somalia. Observed river levels along the Shabelle River are expected to continue rising further in the coming week following the foreseen rains in the upper catchment. Flooding along the Shabelle will be sustained in the coming week given the current situation and the foreseen rains. Areas to be monitored include Belet Weyne, Jalalaqsi, Jowhar town and its environs where the river level is near full crest, and other riverine towns in the Lower Shabelle region. The situation could be further exacerbated by weak river embankments and open river banks.

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Gu 2020 Rainfall Performance (March to June 2020)

The 2020 Gu rainy season was generally good with many areas in Somalia recording normal to above normal rains (Map 1 & 2 and Annex I). There was an early start of the season in late March in some areas and continued to spread spatially with a peak during the last two weeks of April. The season came to an early end during the second half of May. The good rains were beneficial to most water dependent sectors which saw a boost in the growth of pasture and crops in many areas and especially in the north eastern and central parts of the country which had a poor rainfall performance in the previous season. The rains also contributed to significant ground water recharge which had been depleted previously. There was also an improvement in animal body conditions thus more reproduction and availability of milk and meat. On the other hand, the heavy rains experienced in April led to both flash and riverine flooding affecting about 919 0001 people of whom 411, 905 were displaced and 24 killed. Further, along the Juba and Shabelle basins, more than 100,000 km2 of land was inundated as seen in Annex II. Belet Weyne town in Hiraan region was the worst affected by the floods and remained submerged for over two weeks. It is also worth noting that while the overall rainfall amounts for the season are mostly average to above average, there was a prolonged dry period since mid-May that is adversely impacting crop harvest prospects.

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Flood advisory for Lower Shabelle - Issued 24 July 2020

Observed river levels of the Shabelle River in Somalia have been rising for the past two weeks. This has been attributed to heavy rains in the upper parts of the Ethiopian highlands and localized rains in Lower Shabelle. The current Shabelle river levels at the upper reaches in Somalia are slightly above the historical normal range, while the lower reaches are at bank full levels. This has resulted in over bank spillage leading to riverine floods in parts of Jowhar, Balcad, Genaale and Afgooye. About 24,000Ha land is currently inundated along the Shabelle affecting over 150 villages. The rainfall forecast for the coming week (24—30 July 2020) is pointing towards moderate to heavy rains within the upper parts of the Ethiopian highlands and within Lower Shabelle inside Somalia. Observed river levels along the Shabelle River are expected to continue rising further in the coming week following the foreseen rains. Flooding in the middle and lower reaches of the Shabelle will be sustained in the coming week given the current situation and the foreseen rains. Areas to watch include Jowhar town and its environs; where the river level is near full crest and other riverine towns in the Lower Shabelle region. The situation could be further exacerbated by weak river embankments and open river banks. Along the Juba river levels are within normal for this period of the year.

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