SWALIM Completes Mapping Riverbank Breakages on Juba and Shabelle Rivers

SWALIM completed mapping of riverbank breakages and areas of potential flooding along the Juba and Shabelle Rivers in southern Somalia. Different sets of very high resolution satellite images were used to carry out this task. The information produced played a crucial role in assisting local authorities and communities in both closing the open breakages and monitoring potential new ones. The information is used by partner agencies for disaster preparedness in the two rivers.

The dataset produced consists of georeferenced information on “potential”, “closed” and “open” riverbank breakages, as observed between 2012 and 2014. This information was extracted from the analysis of very high resolution satellite images, a detailed Digital Elevation Model (DEM) that was produced using aerial photographs of the two rivers, and through the comparison of these with previous records on breakages along the river banks. The fi ndings derived from the image analysis were then verified with field observations by local staff of SWALIM.

The outputs of this SWALIM analysis represents a forward leap in early warning as it complements the rainfall updates, flood alerts and other bulletins that have been shared during the on-going Deyr rainy season, warning of flood risk and/or informing about ongoing floods along the Juba and Shabelle rivers. SWALIM has produced two large scale maps, based on the results of the analysis, showing the location and type of breakages or flood risks along the riverbanks. Hard copies of these maps can be obtained from SWALIM offices. In addition, SWALIM made the information available through the Flood Risk and Response                                                               A breakage at Barey                                     Management Information System (FRRMIS) link on the website http://www.faoswalim.org in tabular data summaries and in Google                                                                                                                                                 Earth format. To request these or other floods data send an email to: swalim@fao.org.