Heavy rains are expected to pour in southern Somalia causing further flooding, Somali government has said warning locals not to return to flooded areas.
The Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs sent out an alert Wednesday warning of heavy rains in the next two days amid an ongoing flooding crisis which has severely hit Beletweyne in Hiiraan region displacing thousands.
“Flood risks to continue in south and west districts of the country. Heavy rainfall expected in the next two days in parts of the country,” the Ministry said in a statement. It noted the rains would exacerbate the current floods emergency in the country.
The National Floods Emergency Committee called on residents from affected areas not to return to their homes yet and to avoid soft grounds prone to floods.
The UN agency UNICED said Tuesday an estimated 200,000 children have been affected by heavy flooding in Belet Weyne, Berdale, Baidoa, Jowhar and Mahadaiin areas.
“Children are very vulnerable in times of emergency,” said UNICEF Somalia Representative Werner Schultink. “If we do not act decisively, the impact of these floods will be felt in Somalia long after the water levels recede,” he added.
According to the IGAD early warning agency ICPAC, heavy rainfall averaging 50-70 mm are epected in eastern Ethiopia along the border with Somalia.
This will increase the risks of river floods downstream towards Somalia, the agency said.