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Over 700,000 people affected by floods in Somalia-UN

Storyline:National News
Somalia Red Crescent Society teams help evacuate people marooned by floods in Beletweyne May 12, 2018. Photo: Goobjoog News

Over 700,000 people have been affected by the ongoing flooding in various parts of the country, the UN Humanitarian agency, OCHA has said calling for increased aid support to salvage the situation.

In its May 10 humanitarian snapshot, OCHA said 718,000 people countrywide had been affected while 220,000 were displaced raising the number of people displaced by the floods and drought to up to 1.5 million since last year. Between January last year and March 2018, OCHA estimates 1.3 million were displaced adding to a total of 2.1 million people internally displaced in Somalia.

At least 1 million people were already displaced in the country thanks to weather effects and insecurity.

The UN agency said the heavy Gu rains currently being experienced in Juba and Shabelle basins in Somalia and neighbouring Ethiopia have affected thousands of people compounding an already fragile humanitarian situation. An estimated 5.4 million people are currently in need of assistance due to drought and conflict.

Beletweyne district is one of the worst affected areas with waterlogging and lack of access to latrines especially in IDP sites posing health concerns.

Flash and riverine flooding in the Banadir region, Hirshabelle, Jubaland, Galmuduug, and South West states, have caused damage to crops, livelihoods and property.

Goobjoog News reporter in Beletweyne Saturday reported that five people went missing after a trying to cross a bridge to Ceeljaale area where most of the people had moved to for safety.

Humanitarian agencies including Somalia Red Crescent Society and World Food Programme have been providing medical and food support to residents and also canoes to move those still trapped in flooded areas to safer grounds.