The Gu 2018 (April to June) rainfall forecast points towards near-normal to below-normal rains within the Juba and Shabelle River basin. However, flooding along the two rivers is likely to occur, especially in areas with open river banks/weak river embankments.
FAO SWALIM (Somalia Water and Land Information Management) has updated the status of the river breakages along the Shabelle River and is in the process of updating the Juba by mapping them using available Very High Resolution (VHR) satellite imagery and a Digital Elevation Model (DEM); supported by “ground truthing” field observations where feasible. All the observations reported refers to the latest suitable VHR satellite image available, which is indicated in the online database.
Four types of breakages have been identified, namely; open, potential, closed with sandbags and closed. The open breakages are those that are still open as observed on the latest VHR image available, therefore field verification is needed before planning any repair. The potential breakages represent points that have weak river embankments. The closed with sandbags points are defined here as those that been temporarily closed with sandbags making them still vulnerable for further breakages. The closed points are those that were previously open but have since been closed using heavy machinery or other methods, which prevents further flooding in the short term.
The attached map show the open, potential and closed with sandbags points along the Shabelle River. In summary, 27 open points were identified long the river. Several other points, which are either potential or temporarily closed with sandbags, have been identified.
The methodology is biased towards Remote Sensing (RS) interpretation with only limited “ground truthing” due to access constraints. Open breakages might have been omitted in some cases where satellite images may not have been very clear (e.g. heavy cloud cover) or were not available.
Maps of the status of river breakages, with detailed information, have been produced at large scale and can be obtained from SWALIM offices. This information is also available on the SWALIM Flood Risk and Response Management Information System portal.
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