MOGADISHU - At least 24 people have died while 858, 667 others have been affected by heavy rains and riverine floods since the Gu (April-June heavy) rains started in Somalia a month ago, the UN agency said on Friday.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said some 330,905 people have been displaced in 24 districts as humanitarian agencies ramp up responses to reach those affected by the flooding.
"As of May 14, the number of people affected by flooding in Somalia has risen to more than 858,667, of whom 330,905 have been displaced and 24 killed, in 24 districts," OCHA said in its latest update on flooding in Somalia.
According to the UN humanitarian agency, the people affected by floods this year are doubled compared to the Deyr rains (average October-December) in 2019 which affected 400,000 people.
OCHA said the most affected district is Beledweyne in Hiran region, where riverine flooding caused by a sharp rise in water levels on River Shabelle, has displaced an estimated 180,000 people.
"Humanitarian partners and authorities are scaling up their responses, reaching at least 182,830 people with life-saving assistance," it said.
"More rain is forecasted in the coming week in the Juba and Shabelle river basins, while there will be a slight reduction in the northern regions," said OCHA.
The heavy flooding comes at a time Somalia is facing the COVID-19 pandemic and a threat of desert locust infestation.