The Shabelle river in central Somalia broke its banks and submerged the town of Beledweyne, causing floods that have forced almost a quarter of a million people from their homes. This comes as the country is experiencing its worst drought in four decades, according to the government.
Scientists and aid organizations have warned that climate change is accelerating humanitarian crises, despite the fact that those impacted are some of the least responsible for CO2 emissions.
According to locals, seasonal rains in Somalia and upstream in the Ethiopian highlands caused flash floods that swept away homes, crops, and livestock. They also caused schools and hospitals in the capital of the Hiraan region, Beledweyne, to be temporarily closed.
“In a flash, the entire city was submerged. “Shopkeeper Ahmed Nur, whose business was washed away, said that Beledweyne itself became like an ocean.”
“Only the houses’ roofs were visible. We utilized little boats and farm haulers to save individuals,” he said.
Nur has been staying with relatives on the outskirts of the city, which had just celebrated the end of the crippling drought a few weeks earlier.
“We rejoiced when the rain came. He stated, “People planted their crops.”
According to United Nations figures, the drought, violence, and an increase in food prices brought on by the war in Ukraine killed as many as 43,000 people last year.
The United Nations humanitarian office (OCHA) reports that the floods have impacted more than 460,000 people across the country since the middle of March, claiming 22 lives.
More than 245,000 people have been displaced by the floods in Beledweyne alone, according to the Somali Disaster Management Agency.
OCHA stated in a report that while the rains are recharging water sources and allowing vegetation to regenerate, it will take significantly more rain to effectively alleviate the effects of the recent drought.
After consecutive debacles, no less than one inhabitant of Beledweyne, Halima Abdullahi, said she had adequately seen, making her one of the 216 million individuals the World Bank predicts could be constrained to move inside their own country by 2050 in light of environment stress.
The mother of two said, “We will move to distant villages.” Beledweyne does not exist anymore.”