The worst floods in decades killed 29 people in Somalia and hit towns across East Africa. Following heavy rains that submerged communities around East Africa, the National Disaster Management Agency reported on Wednesday that the worst flooding to hit Somalia in decades has killed 29 people and caused more than 300,000 to escape their homes.
After the worst drought the region has seen in 40 years, authorities are working quickly to save thousands of trapped residents from the floodwaters.
“We are witnessing the worst situation in decades right now. Hassan Isse, general director of the Somali Disaster Management Agency (SOMDA), said, “It is worse than even the floods that occurred in 1997.”
Isse stated that because so many people were stranded by flooding, the death toll and number of displaced persons were probably going to go up much more.
Mohamed Farah, an octogenarian living in Baidoa City, southwest Somalia, remarked, “I do not remember such floods in my life.” “People keep on evacuating, looking for high ground.”
The Jubba River burst its banks in Luuq town, cutting off at least 2,400 people, according to the UN.
“The river encircles Luuq, and flooding threatens us.” People are constantly escaping the town. A few remain imprisoned. “Our stores have been carried away,” Luuq merchant Ahmed Nur said.
At least 15 people have died as a result of flooding in neighboring Kenya, which has also buried a bridge in Uganda and shut off a route that connects Kampala to oilfields in the northwest, according to the Kenya Red Cross and Uganda’s road authority.
El Niño and the Indian Ocean Dipole conspired to create the regional deluge, according to Nazanine Moshiri, a climate analyst at the International Crisis Group.
Climate phenomena that affect ocean surface temperatures and result in above-average rainfall are El Niño and the Indian Ocean Dipole.
“The impact of the flooding is much worse because the soil is so damaged from an unprecedented recent drought—years of conflict—and the al Shabaab militia’s presence also makes building flood defenses and resilience more complex and costly,” Moshiri stated.
According to scientists, extreme weather events are becoming more intense and frequent due to climate change. In response, African leaders have suggested changes to international financial institutions and new worldwide levies to help finance climate change initiatives.