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SOMALIA: Floods in limited but "fragile" areas


Southern Somalia is affected by floods in "relatively limited but very fragile areas", said UN Humanitarian and Resident Coordinator for Somalia, Randolph Kent, after a rapid flood assessment conducted on Tuesday by a team of UN officials.

Exceptional rains during the past few weeks had caused river floods in southern Somalia, and flash floods in the north.

Kent said some people had encamped outside the flooded area and had been forced to move to a different site - "which means the water is still rising".

An estimated 600-700 families had been affected and had built small temporary shelters, he said.

The southern town of "Mombasa" was the only significantly affected community.

Kent said there was now an "excellent opportunity" to start preventative measures, concentrating on building up embankments and dredging canals and water catchment pools.

He said it was important to monitor water movement and rainfall in the Ethiopian highlands, which feeds into Somalia's southern rivers.

UN agencies are bringing in mosquito nets, medicine and shelter material. Northeast Somalia - particularly the Sanaag, Nugal and Nudug regions - have experienced flash floods, which have washed over roads and hindered trade.

Livestock had also been lost to the flash floods, according to a UN press release.



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