Over 25 killed by flash floods in Somalia since March

By Abdi

MOGADISHU, June 9 (Xinhua) -- More than 25 people have been killed and at least 468,000 more impacted, with 247,000 displaced by flash flooding in Somalia since March, the UN humanitarian agency said Friday.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said moderate to heavy rains have been reported in several areas of Somalia, causing flash and riverine floods.

"Several parts of the country are likely to experience replenished groundwater sources and regenerated vegetation, but much more rainfall will be required to effectively relieve the impact of extended drought," OCHA said in its latest update.

The heavy rains and flooding have come following five seasons of drought that has displaced more than 1.4 million Somalis and killed 3.8 million livestock since mid-2021, the UN said.

The OCHA said in the worst affected district of Beledweyne and surrounding areas, flood water has started receding, but stagnant pools are hindering the return of displaced people and increasing the risk of waterborne diseases.

It said humanitarian partners have stepped up assistance to people affected by floods in various regions of Somalia. The Somalia Humanitarian Fund (SHF) has allocated 3 million U.S. dollars to partners to provide safe drinking water, sanitation assistance, non-food items and health services to people affected by floods across Somalia.

According to the UN, more flooding is expected later this year, due to the forecasted El Nino, which will bring further displacement, deaths and diseases.

According to the weather forecast by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization's Somalia Water and Land Information Management, heavy rainfall is likely to continue in parts of the northern regions and light rainfall in several areas in central and southern regions.

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