Status of River Breakages Along Juba and Shabelle Rivers - Issued March 2021

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In the recent years, floods have prevailed in Somalia hampering both social and economic development. Rainfall intensity in the Ethiopian highlands triggered riverine flooding along the Juba and Shabelle rivers in the last three consecutive years. With climate models projecting an increase of rainfall intensities in the region in the coming yeras, flood events will therefore continue to take place if nothing is done. The presence of open and weak river banks contributes significantly to flooding along these two major rivers. It is therefore of paramount importance to try and reduce or rather prevent these losses due to flood events. With the objective of identifying locations and dimensions of the open and weak points along the Juba and Shabelle Rivers, SWALIM has carried out an assessment using very high resolution (VHR) satellite images. The activity aimed to ascertain the existence of such points and share with intervening agencies and other partners to inform decisions for closure of the points which would see a reduction of flood impacts along the river. Along the Juba River, 46 open points, 8 overflows and another 65 potential overflows were identified. The Juba River assessment also identified over 100 potential breakage points. Further, the team have identified 57 open points, 225 overflows and 74 potential overflows along the Shabelle River. These points need immediate closure or reinforcement before the Gu rainy season which is expected to start in Mid-April 2021. It is worth noting that due to limited availability of VHR images, there has been a delay in completing the assessment of Shabelle River breakages. FAO SWALIM is in the process of procuring images to cover the assessment gap and partners will be notified once the finalized product is ready. SWALIM is pleased to share with you the status of open river points maps along the Juba and Shabelle which can be downloaded from the download links.
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Date of publication: 
March, 2021