UN’s humanitarian agency OCHA reported on Sunday that flash flooding in central Somalia has caused the death of 22 people and affected over 450,000. The situation arose after the Shabelle River flooded over its banks, resulting in tens of thousands of individuals being made homeless. Heavy rainfall early in the week caused water to rush into the homes of Beledweyne town in Hiran region, leaving roads and buildings submerged. The floods have caused destruction by inundating homes and farmland, washing away livestock, temporarily closing schools and damaging roads.
The tragedy follows an unprecedented drought that left millions of Somalis on the verge of famine, with the nation grappling with decades-long Islamist insurgency. Extreme weather patterns are becoming increasingly frequent and intense due to climate change, with experts claiming it as the primary factor for the rise in extreme weather events. Residents stated that the floods are a regular ordeal, with similar floods recurring.
East and central Africa undergoes severe weather patterns during the rainy seasons. Recently, heavy rains pervaded Rwanda, resulting in the death of 135 individuals and rendering more than 9,000 people homeless. Furthermore, torrential downpours and floods caused 400 people to lose their lives in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Heavy rains caused the death of at least 65 people in Rwanda in May 2020 and 194 individuals in Kenya. At the end of 2019, continuous rainfall over two months caused the death of at least 265 people and displaced tens of thousands in the East African states.