More than 1.7 million people are in need as torrential rains destroy their homes and livelihoods in the Horn of Africa.
The death toll from flash floods caused by torrential rains in Somalia has risen to 50, with nearly 700,000 people forced from their homes, according to a government official.
With heavier rains starting Tuesday, the plight of the country’s people is expected to worsen, he said.
“Fifty people died in the disaster… while 687,235 people were forced to flee their homes,” Mohamud Moalim Abdullahi, director of the Somali Disaster Management Agency, said at a press conference on Monday. .
“Rain expected between November 21 and 24… could cause more flooding which could cause death and destruction. »
The Horn of Africa region is facing heavy downpours and flooding linked to the El Nino weather phenomenon, killing dozens of people and causing large-scale displacement, including in Somalia, where rains destroyed bridges and flooded residential areas.
Floods and extreme rains have had “catastrophic” consequences for hundreds of thousands of people who have lost their homes and properties, or their animals and crops, the International Rescue Committee said in a statement on Monday, adding that more than 1.7 million people are in distress. “urgent need”.
“With above-normal rainfall expected to persist until the end of 2023, this will worsen the already serious humanitarian situation, in which 4.3 million people, or a quarter of the population, are expected to face extreme hunger. crisis or worse by the end of 2023.”, added the humanitarian agency.
NGO World Vision said the current floods have destroyed homes, schools and roads, leaving children without basic needs such as shelter, food and clean water.
“The floods have made life extremely difficult for the children. The ongoing floods have destroyed homes, forcing children and their families from their homes, some of whom are now sheltering in makeshift structures in the open. As they move, they are at increased risk of disease,” Kevin Mackey, the organization’s Somalia director, said in a statement Monday.
On Saturday, the UN humanitarian agency OCHA said the number of people displaced by heavy rains and floods in Somalia “has almost doubled in a week”.
“In addition, roads, bridges and airstrips were damaged in several areas, affecting the movement of people and supplies and leading to an increase in commodity prices,” OCHA said.
British charity Save the Children said on Thursday that more than 100 people, including 16 children, had died and hundreds of thousands had been forced from their homes in Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia due to flash floods.
The Horn of Africa is one of the regions most vulnerable to climate change and extreme weather events are occurring with increased frequency and intensity.
The region is emerging from the worst drought in four decades, after several failed rainy seasons that left millions in need and devastated crops and livestock.
Humanitarian groups have warned the situation will only get worse and called for urgent global intervention as El Niño is expected to last until at least April 2024.