of UN officials travelled to Somalia on Tuesday to assess
flooding resulting from exceptional rains during the past
few weeks, a UN statement released here said.
team, including representatives of the World Food Programme,
UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organisation,
as well as the Somalia Aid Coordination Body (SACB) and other
aid agencies, will conduct an aerial and ground assessment.
for responding to the floods was to be announced Wednesday.
The team will bring emergency supplies to relieve immediate
distress, while determining what more needs to be done, the
River has flooded a village in southern Somalia's Lower Shabelle
region, near the town of Merka, forcing several hundred families
to flee to higher ground.
parts of the south are also affected by high river levels
and flash floods. Areas of the Hiran and Bakol regions have
recorded nearly all of the rainfall expected for this month
in the first 10 days.
rains in the Ethiopian highlands have also sent water coursing
into Somalia's southern rivers, with their levels increasing
from virtually dry to full and bursting in some areas in the
past 10 days.
rains have eased in the northwest, northeast Somalia -- particularly
Sanaag, Nugal and Mudug regions -- have experienced flash
floods, which have washed roads and hindered trade, pushing
up food prices.
Somalia is now facing the twin effects of long-term drought
and sudden flooding, the statement said. About 750,000 people
throughout Somalia, particularly in the southwestern region,
have been affected by persistent drought after regular rains
failed three years in a row.