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Flood advisory for Juba Shabelle Rivers!

Observed levels of the Shabelle River in Somalia have continued to rise alarmingly in the past two weeks. This has been attributed to unprecedented excessive rains in the upper parts of the Ethiopian highlands especially in the last three days. The rainfall forecast for the coming week (08—14 May 2021) is pointing towards moderate to heavy rains within the upper parts of the Ethiopian highlands and light to moderate rains within the Shabelle basin inside Somalia. Shabelle River: Heavy rains have been reported in Hiraan and Middle Shabelle regions in the last 24 hours with Jowhar station recording 86 mm of rainfall this morning. Flooding of high magnitude has been reported along the Shabelle River in Ethiopia and the flood wave is expected to reach the Somalia side in the next few days. There is a high flood risk in Belet Weyne district in the next to two to three days. The flood wave will be transmitted to the middle and lower reaches towards the end of the week. The situation could be further exacerbated by weak river embankments and open river banks, which is already causing floods in Jowhar. There is need for communities living along the riverine areas of the Shabelle River to take precaution as the river flow is expected to reach bank-full level before the end of the week. Juba River: The levels have been low in the previous week but rose drastically in the last 24 hours. At Dollow, the levels have surpassed the moderate risk level of flooding. There is a moderate risk of flooding along the Juba River especially in Dollow district.

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Somalia Flood Update – 10 May 2021.pdf

Observed levels continued to rise along the Juba and Shabelle Rivers both in Ethiopian and Somalia. However, there was a reduction of rainfall amounts in Somalia as well as in the Ethiopian highlands in the last 48 hours. The rainfall forecast for the period between 10—16 May 2021 is pointing towards moderate to heavy rains within the upper parts of the Ethiopian highlands and light to moderate rains within the Shabelle basin inside Somalia. Heavy rains are also foreseen in Galgaduud and Mudug regions between 10 and 11 May 2021 which may result to flush floods. Minimal rains are expected in Somaliland, Puntland and the southern parts of the country during the week. Shabelle River: Flooding of high magnitude has been reported along the Shabelle River in Ethiopia and the flood wave is rapidly being transmitted to the side of Somalia with flooding being reported in parts of Hiraan region near the border with Ethiopia. Today, the river level at Belet Weyne reached the moderate flood risk level of 6.50 m. If this trend continues, the bank-full level maybe reached within seven to ten days in Belet Weyne leading to an overflow. The high risk flood level in Belet Weyne district will be sustained. The flood wave from Belet Weyne will be transmitted to the middle and lower reaches towards the end of the week and therefore there is a moderate risk of flooding in these areas during this week. The situation could be further exacerbated by weak river embankments and open river banks, which is already causing floods in Jowhar. There is need for communities living along the entire riverine areas of the Shabelle River to take precaution. Juba River: Similarly, the river levels along the Juba continued to rise drastically over the last two days. At Dollow, the levels have surpassed the moderate risk level of flooding while at Luuq, the level is at 5.20 m which is 0.30 m below the moderate flood risk level. Given the rainfall forecast in the Ethiopian highlands, and the high river levels, there is a high risk of flooding in Dollow, Luuq and Bardheere during this week.

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Flood Alert

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Somalia Flood Update – 13 May 2021.pdf

The coastal areas of Nugaal, Mudug and Galgaduud regions experienced heavy rains in the last 48 hours leading to flash floods in some areas. The Juba and Shabelle basins saw a significant reduction of rainfall amounts within the same period. However, observed levels continued to rise along the Juba and Shabelle Rivers both in Somalia following heavy rains in Ethiopia in the previous weeks. The rainfall forecast for the period between 12—18 May 2021 is pointing towards light to moderate rains within the upper parts of the Ethiopian highlands and light rains in most parts of Somalia with exception of a few pockets in Mudug that may record moderate rains during the forecast period. Shabelle River: The flood wave from the Ethiopian highlands along the Shabelle River continued to stream into Somalia leading to gradual increase of river levels. The level in Belet Weyne today is 6.60 m which is beyond the moderate flood risk level. The reduced amounts of rainfall in the highlands has subsequently led to a slower rate of flow into Belet Weyne. However, there still remains a high risk level of flooding in Belet Weyne district as the water continue to stream in. The flood wave from Belet Weyne will be transmitted to the middle and lower reaches towards the end of the week and therefore there is a moderate risk of flooding in these areas during this week. The situation could be further exacerbated by weak river embankments and open river banks, which is already causing floods in Jowhar. Juba River: The river levels along the Juba fluctuated in the last two days with a slight reduction in Dollow and Luuq stations and an increase in the mid reaches of Bardheere and Bualle. Given the rainfall forecast in the Ethiopian highlands, and the reducing river levels in upper parts of the river, the high risk of flooding changes to moderate level in the mid and lower parts of the river.

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Flood Alert

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Somalia Flood Update – 02 May 2021.pdf

Due to climate change and its associated impacts Somalia is now recording more wet and dry weather events, often with disastrous consequences for the people facing such extremes. It has become even more difficult to predict such sequential events. Currently, more than 80 percent of the country is facing drought conditions in the mid of the primary Gu rainy season. Yet, flash floods have been reported in the last two days following heavy and sporadic rains in Somaliland. In addition, limited climate change adaptive capacities has led to irresponsible socio-economic practices like cutting of river banks to extract irrigation waters, further exposing the communities to climate hazards. For instance, riverine flooding due to open river banks near Baarey and Moyko villages has been reported in Jowhar within Middle Shabelle region. With current climate models predicting extreme temperatures and rainfall in the future within the region, the country is likely to continue experiencing frequent flood and drought events with likely consequences of affecting untold numbers of people, taxing economies, disrupting food production, creating unrest and prompting migrations.

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Flood watch bulletin

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Somalia Flood Update – 19 May 2021.pdf

There was a significant reduction of rainfall amounts in most parts of Somalia as well as within the Ethiopian highlands over the last week. Inside Somalia, only a few pockets of coastline areas of Nuugal and Mudug recorded moderate to heavy rains in the last three days. The rainfall forecast for the coming week is calling for further reduction of rains in Somalia and within the Ethiopian highlands. Shabelle River: The flood wave from the Ethiopian highlands along the Shabelle River continued to stream into Somalia leading to gradual increase of river levels but with less speed compared to the previous week. The level in Belet Weyne today is 7.60 m which is beyond the high flood risk level and less than one meter below the bank-full level. Flooding has been reported this morning, in Hiraan region, upstream of Belet Weyne town specifically in Bacaad, Qooqane, Laffole, Grash, Nimcan, Leboow and Shinile villages due to a river breakage which was not fixed. Evacuation of residents from these villages is on-going. There still remains a high risk level of flooding in Belet Weyne district as the water continue to stream in. The flood wave from Belet Weyne will be transmitted to the middle and lower reaches in the course of the week and therefore there is a moderate risk of flooding in these areas during this week. The situation could be further exacerbated by weak river embankments and open river banks, which is already causing floods in Jowhar. Juba River: The river levels along the Juba fluctuated over the last week with the last two days seeing a sharp reduction. The levels are currently slightly above normal. Given the rainfall forecast in the Ethiopian highlands, and the reducing trend of river levels in upper parts of the river, the moderate risk of flooding changes to minimal level in the entire channel. Users are advised that this is a forecast and at times there may be discrepancies between estimates and actual amounts of rainfall received. Information on the forecast and observed river levels is updated daily and can be found on this link: http://frrims.faoswalim.org.

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Flood Alert

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Somalia Rainfall Forecast – Issued 04 May 2021

The last one week has seen a significant increase of rainfall amounts across many parts of Somalia as the Gu rainy season continues to spread.  The cumulative rainfall forecast for this week indicates significant spread of the rains to Somaliland and the southern regions. Heavy rains are foreseen on 07 May 2021 in parts of Awdal and Woqooyi Galbeed regions. This is likely to lead to flash floods in the area. Moderate to heavy rains are expected in the Ethiopian highlands during the week in forecast.   River levels along the Shabelle have increased sharply over the last few days following heavy rains within the Ethiopian highlands. At Belet Weyne, the level is at 5.15 m while at Jowhar the level is at 3.80 m as of today. Given the rainfall forecast, the levels are expected to continue rising along the Shabelle River with moderate risk of flooding due to existing open river banks. Along Juba River, the levels are within normal in most of the stations. However, heavy rains within Bardheere district has led to a sharp increase of river levels by about 1.74 m within 24 hours. Today, the river level at Bardheere is at 6.98 m which 0.42 m below the moderate flood risk level. Given the foreseen rains in the area, this may lead to flooding in the next few days.

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Somalia Flood Update – 25 May 2021.pdf

During the last two weeks there has been minimal or no rains in most parts of Somalia, marking an early cessation of the Gu 2021 rains which also had a late onset. The rainfall forecast for the next week till end of May, shows no rains in the country. Further, no rains are expected in the month of June according to most forecast models. With a late start, short growing period and an early end of the season, drought conditions which were detected in February, may continue to impact some areas especially in the southern regions where the total rainfall recorded so far is less than the long term average. There is also a great concern in the northern regions which recorded good rains in a period of two weeks before the cessation. SWALIM will carry out an in-depth analysis of the situation in the coming days. Shabelle River: Following a reduction of rainfall amounts in the Ethiopian highlands, there was a subsequent decrease in runoff from the upper reaches of the basin to Somalia. However, flood waters from previous two weeks rainfall are still streaming into Somalia side of the basin. Today, the level in Belet Weyne is 8.25 m and is likely to reach the bank-full level any time from now, with a high risk of flooding in the town. During the last week, a few villages in the upstream parts of Belet Weyne town were affected by flooding with evacuation having taken place. The flood wave from Belet Weyne will be transmitted to the middle and lower reaches in the course of the week and therefore there is a moderate risk of flooding in these areas during this week. The situation could be further exacerbated by weak river embankments and open river banks, which is already causing floods in Jowhar. Juba River: The river levels along the Juba continued to decrease over the last week. The levels are currently slightly above normal and expected to stabilize as the week progresses. Given the rainfall forecast and decreasing trend of river levels there is no risk of flooding along Juba in the coming week.

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Flood Alert

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Somalia Rainfall Forecast - Issued: 06 May 2021

The cumulative rainfall forecast for the next seven days indicates moderate to heavy rains in Somaliland and the southern regions. Most of the rainfall in Somaliland is expected to fall on 07 May 2021 and thereafter there will be a significant reduction during the week. This is likely to lead to flash floods in parts of Togdheer and Woqooyi Galbeed west of Sanaag regions. In the southern parts, the foreseen rains will be concentrated between 07 and 09 May 2021 followed by a reduction of rainfall activities. Light rains are foreseen in Puntland and central areas of the country. Moderate to heavy rains are expected in the Ethiopian highlands during the week in forecast. River levels along the Shabelle continued to increase over the last few days following heavy rains within the Ethiopian highlands and inside Somalia. At Belet Weyne, the level is at 5.38 m while at Jowhar the level is at 3.95 m as of today. Given the rainfall forecast, the levels are expected to continue rising along the Shabelle River with moderate to high risk of flooding in the coming week. According to analysis by SWALIM with support from UNOSAT on satellite images, the flooding in Jowhar reported since 04 May 2021 due to open river banks has so far inundated about 1,984 Ha of farmland. Further, eight villages have been severely affected by the flooding. Along Juba River, the levels have increased sharply over the last two days following heavy rains in the upper catchments. Given the foreseen rains in the area, this may lead to flooding in the mid section of the River especially where open river banks exist.

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Rainfall Forecast

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Somalia Flood Update – 28 May 2021.pdf

With no rains in the last two weeks and minimal rains expected the month of June, the Gu rainy season came to an early end with a poor rainfall performance in many parts of the country despite heavy rains during the last week of April and first week of May. Comparing the Gu 2021 and the long term average for the season, Map 1 shows rainfall deficits in many areas of the country, with a significant deviation from the normal. While a few pockets of Somaliland and central areas shows a positive performance, there remains a great concern in the rest parts of the country and especially the southern regions. Further, according to the IGAD Climate Predication and Application Center (ICPAC), the Haggai season which is usually dry in many parts of the country is expected to be normal, safe for western parts of Somaliland that may record enhanced rains as seen in Map 2. With no more rains expected until the next rainy season, mild to moderate drought conditions are foreseen in the coming months. It should be noted that a large amount of rainfall in short periods of time is not effective in mitigating the drought conditions, as it underpins floods but it does not give enough time for water to infiltrate in the ground, recharging groundwater sources. Shabelle River: Following a reduction of rainfall amounts in the Ethiopian highlands and within Somalia, compounded with the recession of the flood wave coming from Ethiopia, river levels along the Shabelle River inside Somalia have decreased drastically in the last 48 hours. The decreasing trend is expected to continue with minimal risk of flooding in Belet Weyne. However, a moderate risk of flooding will be sustained in the mid and lower reaches of the river until the end of the week. The situation could be further exacerbated by weak river embankments and open river banks, which is already causing floods in Jowhar. Juba River: The river levels along the Juba continued to decrease over the last week. The levels are currently within normal with no risk of flooding given the rainfall forecast and decreasing trend of river levels.

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Somalia Drought Update – April 2021.pdf

The Gu rains continued to spread in time and space over the last few days with some places recording moderate rains. Many parts of Bay, Bakool and Puntland recorded good rains on 19 to 21 April 2021. The Gu rains are yet to start in some areas. Despite the Gu 2021 having started, more than 80 percent of the country is currently experiencing moderate to severe drought conditions This is due to below average 2020 Oct-Dec Deyr rains, followed by a harsh and warmer than normal Jan-Mar Jilaal season, and a delayed start of the current Gu (Mar/Apr-Jun) season with a poor distribution. Worst affected areas include larger parts of Somaliland and Puntland, central regions and Gedo region Currently, water levels along Shabelle river are slightly below average while water levels in the Juba river are within the normal range. The levels in both rivers are expected to increase following the start of Gu rains in the Ethiopian highlands and within Somalia. Preliminary rainfall forecast for the coming months of May and June indicates depressed amounts of rainfall and this may worsen the ongoing drought in many parts of the country. If Gu season rainfall continues to perform poorly, this could lead to a worsening of the current humanitarian situation in Somalia through late 2021, especially in rural areas.

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Drought watch

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