City in Somalia transformed into ocean, forcing nearly 250,000 to escape horrific floods!
The floods in Beledweyne, Somalia caused the displacement of over 245,000 people as the entire city was underwater, likened to an ocean, due to the Shabelle River breaking its banks. This happened while Somalia is experiencing its worst drought in 40 years. The impact of climate change has contributed to the acceleration of humanitarian emergencies, affecting those who are not responsible for CO2 emissions.
Flash floods caused by seasonal rains in Somalia and upstream in the Ethiopian highlands brought devastation to Beledweyne, destroying homes, crops, and livestock, temporarily closing schools and hospitals. For shopkeeper Ahmed Nur, it was an unforgettable experience. He lost his business, and Beledweyne turned into an ocean. People could only use small boats and tractors to rescue one another.
In the midst of all this, the United Nations reported that the floods have affected more than 460,000 people across the country and killed 22. The drought, along with violence and the war in Ukraine, resulted in the death of as many as 43,000 people last year.
According to OCHA, it will take time for the country to recover from six consecutive seasons of poor rainfall performance. Although vegetation can regenerate, it will take much more rainfall to alleviate the recent drought’s impact effectively. Halima Abdullahi, a resident of Beledweyne, remarked that after back-to-back disasters, she has seen enough, making her one of the 216 million people the World Bank predicts could be compelled to move within their own country by 2050 due to climate stress.