is facing a new emergency situation as a result of the twin
effects of long-term drought and sudden flooding this week.
to the UN Humanitarian Co-ordinator's Office for Somalia in
Nairobi, the combined effects have affected the livelihood
of about 750,000 people, mostly in the south-western part
of the country.
rains in the past three weeks have caused deaths and damaged
infrastructure in the region, which is reeling under the effect
of a three-year drought.
of UN officials Tuesday travelled to southern Somalia for
a one-day rapid flood assessment mission.
- including representatives from the World Food Programme,
UNICEF, WHO as well as partners in the Somalia Aid Co- ordinating
body and other aid agencies were conducting an aerial and
ground assessment for a flood response strategy," the co-
ordinator's office said a statement.
of the assessment will be announced Wednesday when the UN
team will determine an initial batch of emergency supplies
to relieve immediate distress and what more needs to be done.
drought has rendered the region more vulnerable during floods,
because parched land is less able to absorb rain water and
run-offs leach soils of nutrients essential for agricultural
activity," the office explained.
in southern Somalia has affected several settlements, forcing
hundreds of families to seek refuge on higher ground, while
in other areas, river banks were showing signs of strain,
threatening lower-lying plains.
Shabelle Friday night flooded one village near Kurtunwarey
in lower Shabelle region, sweeping away houses and drowning
livestock and forcing hundreds to flee to higher ground.
are now camped beneath trees and are in urgent need of shelter
material, emergency health kits, food, and medicine.
say this is not the usual season for heavy flooding in Somalia,
explaining that the abnormal weather patterns in the Congo
basin have brought rain into the country.
rains in the Ethiopian highlands have also caused Somalia's
numerous seasonal rivers to overflow.