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.

The  town  is  a  commercial  centre  serving  the  eastern  parts  of  Ethiopia  and  Somalia.  The main road passing through this town connects the southern regions to the northern part of the country. This too has been disrupted. This is the third consecutive year that severe floods are being witnessed in Belet Weyne town, one of the top ten largest cities in Somalia.

Today, 15 May 2020, a total of seven square kilometers of agricultural land has been inundated while 10 Sq km of the urban areas is flooded. The floodwaters are expected to start receding in the next 4 to 5 days there being no foreseen rains in the district and within the Ethiopian highlands.

Using high resolution imageries, SWALIM has mapped the extent of floods in Belet Weyne district. Further, Similar maps for Jowhar district, Gedo region, Middle and Lower Juba regions have been produced.