Devastating floods leave over 100 dead and 1.4 million homeless in Somalia
Concern Worldwide's team in Somalia are responding to floods that have killed 110 people, forced over 1.4 million to flee their homes, and caused widespread destruction to agricultural land and vital infrastructure.
El Nino super charged the October-December rainy season to produce intense rain, which resulted in flash floods and river flooding. Some areas received nearly a foot of rain in seven days – the equivalent of the entire October-December season.
The floods forced people from their homes, left other communities cut off, and severely damaged roads and bridges.
Concern's team are using boats, tractors, and donkeys and carts to reach communities.
"Some 2.4 million people have been impacted and it's expected that a quarter of the population – over four million people – will face acute food shortages in the coming weeks," Concern's Emergency Country Coordinator Joshua Pollard said. "The impact has been colossal."
Concern's teams and local partners are providing health and nutrition support, mobile and static health clinics, hygiene kits, mosquito nets, water support, and emergency cash distributions.
They are supporting 500,000 people through health and nutrition support and aim to reach 100,000 people with emergency cash payments by the end of next month.
"There is a major risk of disease in the coming weeks and months, due to the large amounts of stagnant water," Pollard said. "Already reported cases of Cholera are 56 percent higher than the three year average. Stagnant water is ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes with the subsequent risk of malaria and dengue fever.
"It is going to be a very challenging year ahead, with the humanitarian needs expected to far outweigh the funds available," Pollard said. "We have to work now to help people make an early recovery. But long range weather forecasts indicate that we may face an El Nino-charged wet season from April to June, leading to further flooding by the middle of 2024."
Concern has worked in Somalia since 1986 and has long established relationships with communities, and works closely with local partners YouthLink, Lifeline Gedo, Shabelle Community Development Organization, and Gargaar Relief and Development Organization to reach those hardest hit by the floods to deliver lifesaving interventions.