In focus

FAO-SWALIM adjusts its modus operandi to overcome the physical limitations of the pandemic

How a land and water management project in Somalia is staying on track despite COVID-19FAO-SWALIM adjusts its modus operandi to overcome the physical limitations of the pandemic19 May 2020, Mogadishu - When COVID-19 suddenly emerged in Somalia, authorities imposed an international travel ban to prevent spread of the deadly infection. For 14 government staff members from Somaliland and Puntland who were going to receive induction training for the Integrated Land and Water Resources Management (ILRWM) project, their plan was doomed; the training would have to be postponed.But organizers got creative and found a new way to reach participants and make sure the knowledge transfer went ahead.

Belet Weyne Flood Update - Issued 15 May 2020

The river level at Belet Weyne reached bank full level on 11 May 2020 and has remained so for the last four days. Heavy river flows from the Ethiopian highlands continue to stream into Somalia side following heavy rains in the previous weeks. Antecedent soil moisture conditions, open breakages, modified riverbeds and poor drainage system only make the situation worse. Besides, the town is located in a flood plain making it vulnerable to floods year in and out. Thousands of people have been displaced by the razing floodwaters in the district.

Status of River Breakages Along Juba and Shabelle Rivers - Issued March 2020

The Food and Agriculture Organization’s Somalia Water and Land Information Management (FAO SWALIM) Project, has finalized the analysis and mapping of the river breakages along the Juba and Shabelle rivers using very high resolution satellite imagery. Breakages identified in the map have been classified into five different categories; Open, Overflow, Potential Overflows, Potential breakages and Closed with sandbags. A legend/Key for further explanation of the different types of breakages is provided here.

Somalia Tropical Storm PAWAN Alert

Tropical Storm PAWAN expected to lead to winds of medium strength with moderate to heavy rainfall amounts in parts of Somaliland, Puntland and Central regions of Somalia. The Tropical Storm (TS) initially named SIX that developed in the northern Indian Ocean has now been assigned the name PAWAN after sustaining a speed of more than 39 miles per hour for two days. The probability of the TS landing in the coastal areas of Puntland has increased from (10% TO 35%) over the last two days and is expected to make a land fall in Nugaal region in the next 24 hours. The influence of PAWAN may start being felt in the coastal areas of Bari, Mudug and Sanaag regions in the next 12 hours where moderate to heavy rains and strong winds are expected. The rains will then spread further inland to many areas within Somaliland, Puntland and central regions on 07 and 08 December 2019.

Flood Extent Map of Middle, Lower Shabelle and Hiraan Regions

Thousands of people have been left homeless following continued flooding in parts of Somalia’s Hiraan and Middle Shebelle regions over the past couple of weeks, with large tracts of farmland being inundated, raising fears of livelihood losses. The Shabelle River floods started in late October around  the town of Beletweyne due to intense rains in Somalia and the Ethiopian highlands. Subsequent flooding has since spread to the downstream areas including Jowhar.

FAO, EU and Somaliland Government launch a new initiative to improve land and water management

24 June 2019, Hargeisa - The European Union Delegation to the Federal Republic of Somalia jointly with the Government of Somaliland and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)'s Somalia Water and Land Information Management (SWALIM) project today launched in Hargeisa the Integrated Land and Water Management (ILWRM) Project. The event was graced by the EU Charge d'Affairs Dr. Hjordis D'Agostino Ogendo, FAO Deputy Representative for Somalia Mr. Peterschmitt Etienne and representatives of the Ministries of Planning, Agriculture and Environment, Livestock, Water and the Agency for Disaster Management as well as other Somali and International partners and stakeholders.

FAO raises alarm over disastrous drought in Somalia where over 2 million people face severe hunger

15 May 2019, Mogadishu/Rome - A disastrous drought in Somalia could leave some 2.2 million people - nearly 18 percent of the population - faced with severe hunger during the July-September period, FAO warned today. The UN agency issued a special alert on Somalia, indicating that the number of hungry people in the country this year is expected to be 40 percent higher than estimates made at the beginning of 2019. A deteriorating nutritional status is also of major concern, according to the alert. Acute malnutrition rates as well as the number of acutely malnourished children being admitted to therapeutic feeding centres have sharply increased in 2019. "Rains in April and early May can make or break Somalis' food security for the whole year as they are crucial for the country's main annual harvest in July, following the "Gu" rainy season," said Mario Zappacosta, FAO Senior Economist and lead of the Global Information and Early Warning System (GIEWS).

Puntland President Launches the Construction of Information Management Center

20 March 2019: The President of Puntland State Hon. Said Abdullahi Deni inaugurated the site and laid a foundation stone for the construction of the Information Management Center (IMC) along with EU representative Mr Martino Vinci and FAO Deputy Country Representative Mr. Etienne Peterschmitt. The IMC center is intended to be a center with resources and capacity to provide timely and accurate information for the management of water and land resources in Puntland. The government of Puntland donated the Land on which the IMC center will be constructed as an in-kind contribution to the ILWRM Project, which is funded by EU and implemented by FAO SWALIM. The launch came a day after consultations involving the EU, FAO SWALIM and the line ministries.

Hydro-met Observations, Early warning and Climate Information Dissemination Training in Mogadishu

Since FAO SWALIM’s establishment in 2002, integrated capacity development has been an essential part of its activities, strengthening the capacity of its staff as well as the Somali institutions. To improve the value and quality of data from the hydro-metric networks in south and Central Somalia, a total of nine participants drawn from the Ministry of Agriculture of the Federal Republic of Somalia and SWALIM River gauge readers from key monitoring stations along Shabelle Rivers (Belet Weyne, Mahaday-wayne and Jowhar) participated in a training that took place in Mogadishu between 13th – 16th August 2018. The training aimed to improve the capacity of the gauge readers in carrying out the tasks of collecting, processing and transmitting precipitation, River water level data and other hydro-meteorological information from their respective stations.

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