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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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Rainfall Performance

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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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Flood Alert

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Somali Floods Update - Issued 02 June 2020

There was further reduction of rainfall during the week ending on 31 May 2020 as we approach the end of the Gu rainy season which usually ends in late May in some places and early June in others. A few pockets in the southern and northeastern regions however recorded light to moderate rains. In Somaliland, a heavy storm on 29 May led to flash floods in Hargeisa causing three human deaths and destruction of properties. The rainfall forecast for the week ending on 07 June 2020 is calling for rainfall amounts less than 50 mm cumulatively in coastal parts of Lower Juba and Lower Shabelle regions. A few pockets of Bari, Sanaag and Sool will receive some light to moderate rains until the end of the week. Moderate rains are also expected in the Juba and Shabelle headwaters in Ethiopia during the forecast week. The rest of the country will remain dry. With the significant reduction of rains and subsequent decrease of river levels along the two rivers, there is no is foreseen risk of flooding this week and the coming one. Shabelle River: River levels at Belet Weyne, which remained at bank-full for 17 days since 12 May 2020, started to drop on 29 May 2020. Today, the river level is at 5.50m. The flood situation in the district improved greatly during the week with most water having drawn back to the river and residents who had earlier evacuated to higher grounds started to go back to their homes. However, some areas are still water logged with standing water posing a threat of waterborne diseases. In Bulo Burti the river remained high over the past week, with a section of the Indha Ceel village affected by floods. The river level at Jowhar slightly decreased and today it is at 5.05m, which is 0.50m below the high flood risk level. River levels have also started to decrease in the lower reaches and this trend is expected to continue before stabilizing in the coming week. No risk of flooding is foreseen this week. Juba River: There has been a drastic reduction of river levels along the entire channel. Flooding that was recently reported has reduced in middle and lower reaches. The river level at Bardheere today is at 5.32m which is about 3.0m below the high risk flood level. With no foreseen rains, the river levels will continue to drop this week and stabilize in the coming week. No risk of flooding is foreseen along the entire channel of Juba. In Bay and Bakool regions: Little to no rains were recorded during the week. The forecast for this week indicates reduced rainfall prospects in these regions with no flood risk anticipated. Somaliland, Puntland, and Central regions: One day of heavy storm that lasted less than an hour was observed in Somaliland leading to flash floods. In Puntland, there were light to moderate rains between 26 and 30 May in a few areas. The forecast for the coming week indicates light to moderate rains in few places of Bari, Sanaag and Sool regions. The rest of the area will remain dry.

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Somalia Rainfall Forecast - Issued 21 May 2020

This week has seen a significant reduction of rainfall amounts in Somalia save for a few places in the southern coastal areas. This trend is normal as rains start to reduce in the second half of May in many areas while the coastal areas continue to record rainfall through June and July. In general, the seasonal rains have been considerably good across the country with some areas still experiencing the negative effects of the rains including Middle Juba, Lower Juba and Hiraan regions.

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Somali Floods Update - Issued 26 May 2020

The week ending on 24 May 2020 saw a significant reduction of rainfall amounts across the country. A few pockets in the southern and northeastern regions however recorded light rains. In general, the seasonal rain performance was remarkable and beneficial to all the water dependent sectors. The heavy rains within Somalia and the Ethiopian highlands since the start of the season resulted into excessive flows and flooding along the Juba and Shabelle basins. Analysis using very high-resolution (VHR) satellite images of flood extent along the Juba and Shabelle basins shows that the Gu 2020 flood extent along the Shabelle river is less as compared to the one detected during Gu 2018 and Deyr 2019. Along Juba River, the Gu 2020 flood is larger than the one detected during Gu 2018 but less than the one of Deyr 2019. According to UNOCHA, 836,128 people have been affected during this season within the Juba and Shabelle Rivers which is a larger number compared to that of 2018 and 2019. Further analysis of river flow at Belet Weyne shows that for the third year in a row a flood extent that would normally have a recurrence of 50 years has been surpassed. The rainfall forecast for the week ending on 31 May 2020 is calling for rainfall amounts of up to 50 mm cumulatively in coastal parts of Lower Juba and Lower Shabelle regions. Bari, Nugal, Sanaag and parts of Sool will also receive some light to moderate rains until the end of the week. Moderate rains are also expected in the Juba and Shabelle headwaters in Ethiopia during the forecast week. A moderate flood risk along the two rivers is likely to persist during this week due to continuing high flows from the upper catchments. The situation is expected to improve in the following week with water logging abating due to high daily evaporation. Shabelle River: There was a reduction of rainfall amounts in the basin during the last week. River levels at Belet Weyne have remained at bank-full since 12 May 2020 to date. Flood waters that had inundated the town started to draw back to the river in the last two days and the situation will to improve in the coming days. The river level at Jowhar decreased slightly and today it is at 5.10 m. Using VHR satellite imagery, SWALIM identified a total of 445 km2 of flood-affected areas in the basin during this flood season. River levels will start to decrease towards the end of this week in the lower reaches of the river as the lagged flood flows stream in from upstream reaches. Moderate Risk of flooding is foreseen along the Shabelle during this week; and No flood risk the following week. Juba River: There has been a drastic reduction of river levels along the entire channel. Flooding that was recently reported has reduced in the upper reaches but some farm lands are still under water in Middle and Lower reaches. The river level at Bardheere today is at 6.18 m, which a 3.0 m drop from the last four days. Using VHR satellite imagery, SWALIM identified a total of 564 km2 of flood-affected areas along the Juba River during this flood season. Given the current situation, a Moderate Risk of flooding along the lower reaches remains in place this week; with a reduction to No flood risk the following week. In Bay and Bakool regions: Little to no rains were recorded during the week. The forecast for this week indicates reduced rainfall prospects in these regions with no flood risk anticipated. Somaliland, Puntland, and Central regions: No rains were reported in Somaliland while light rains were reported in Puntland on 25 May 2020.

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Somali Floods Update - Issued 04 May 2020

The week that ended on 03 May saw increased rainfall in most regions in Somalia. Heavy rains led to flash floods in northern regions and riverine flooding along the Juba River in the south. The significant rains received so far, follows another above average rainy season, observed during the Deyr (October-December) 2019 season. There has been a general improvement in pasture and ground water recharge across the country. The rainfall forecast for this week is for more rains, especially in the Juba and Shabelle river basins, while there will be a slight reduction of rains 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). Shabelle River: River levels continued to rise following heavy rains within the Shabelle River basin in both Ethiopia and inside Somalia. Mataban, Belet Weyne, Bulo Burti, Jowhar and Balcad rainfall stations recorded over 50mm in the last week. Today, the river level at Belet Weyne is 7.20m, which is just 0.10m less the high risk flood level and 1.10m less the bank-full level. The river level at Bulo Burti continued to rise slowly reaching 4.55m today. In Jowhar, the river level reached 5.30 m, which is the high-risk flood level and has remained so in the last four days. Localized flooding has been reported in Tugaarey village within Jowhar district. A similar trend has been observed in Balcad and the lower reaches of the river. The levels are expected to continue rising along the entire channel of Shabelle as more waters from the Ethiopian highlands are still streaming in. High risk of flooding is foreseen along the Shabelle during this week and the following week. Further, reports from the Ethiopian catchment indicate high river levels and flooding in some locations. There is therefore a high likelihood that these waters will reach in Belet Weyne in two to 5 days, which will likely exceed bank full level in the area. It is advisable that the riverine communities within Belet Weyne to prepare for possible evacuation in the course of the week. Existence of river breakages (50 points identified and reported by SWALIM in February 2020) along the Shabelle is likely to exacerbate the flooding situation unless urgent measures are taken. Juba River: River levels were very high at the beginning of last week and started to drop slightly in the last three days in Dollow, Luuq and Bardheere monitoring stations, all within Gedo region. Flood waters started to recede back to the river in Bardheere and this has in turn led to an increase of levels in the downstream reaches where flooding continue to be observed. Using high-resolution satellite images, SWALIM identified 51 Km2 of flood-affected areas along the Juba for the period 23 to 30 April 2020. The worst affected areas are found in Saakow, Buaale, Jilib and Jamame districts. Given the current high levels and rainfall forecast, there is a High risk of flooding along the entire Juba river channel. In Bay and Bakool regions: Heavy rains resulted to flash floods in some areas within Bay and Bakool regions. In the last week of April, Baidoa station recorded 190mm while Dinsor recorded 110mm of rainfall. In Bakool region, 88 mm and 178 mm of rainfall were recorded in Hudur and El Berde stations respectively in the same period. Flash floods were observed in Qansadheere, Dinsor districts where around 124 Ha of crop fields comprising of Sorghum, Maize, Beans and Sesame were affected. Moderate risk of flooding remains in this area. Puntland, Somaliland and Central regions: Since the beginning of the rainy season, moderate to heavy rains have been reported in many parts of the northern regions. Heavy storms in Qardho, Bari region and Burao in Togdheer region on the night of 27 April 2020 led to severe flash floods leading to massive destruction of properties and loss of lives. In Puntland, more than 10 stations in Bari, Nuugal and Mudug regions recorded heavy rains of between 50 mm to 100 mm cumulatively in the last seven days. Moderate rains have also been observed in Somaliland. This week will see a reduction of rainfall amounts in both areas with no risk of flash floods.

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Somalia Rainfall Forecast - Issued 07 May 2020

The ongoing Gu seasonal rains in the country have led to disruption of road networks in some areas which have experienced flash floods and riverine flooding. The most recent affected area was Badhan district in Sanaag region that received heavy rains on 05 and 06 May leading to flash floods that left tens of households displaced. Unconfirmed acreage of cropland has also been destroyed. Flash floods were also reported in the wadis of Bay and Bakool regions which have been experiencing heavy rains since the beginning of the season. The rainfall forecast for the coming week is for increased rainfall in the southern regions as well as the Ethiopian highlands. In the next three days, moderate to heavy rains are expected in these regions. This is likely to lead to flash floods especially in Bay, Bakool and Lower Juba where the rains will be intensified. A reduction of rainfall amounts is expected in the northern regions which will record light to moderate rains during the week. The river levels in Gedo, along the Juba reduced slightly in the last three days while an increasing trend was observed in Middle Juba and Lower Juba. Flooding is expected to continue during the week along the lower reaches of the river. The River levels along the Shabelle River at Belet Weyne today is at 7.74m which about half a meter away from the bank full level (8.30m). Since last night flooding has been reported in parts of the district specifically in two sections of Hawo Tako settlement (Dhagax Jebis and Shaah Macaan) where residents have began evacuating. In Jowhar, the river level has remained at the high flood risk level of 5.30m for the last one week. Given the forecast and existing high river levels, flooding alert remains in place for Belet Weyne until further notice.

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