from SAAD MUSE in Mogadishu, Somalia
MOGADISHU, (CAJ News) – FLOODS have left 45 people dead in Kenya and Somalia as the neighbouring East African countries bear the brunt of climate change.
Somalia is worse impacted by once-in-a-century flooding, which has left no less than 28 people dead in recent days.
In Kenya, at least 17 people have died since October due to the excessive rains.
The two countries are in the East African region emerging from the most severe drought in four decades.
More than 330 000 people have been displaced from their homes after severe flooding struck Somalia. More than 1,1 million people are affected, with the poorest hit hardest of all.
Some areas of the country have reportedly received more rainfall in the past week than they normally do in the entire October-December rainy season.
Hundreds of thousands of those affected are living in aid camps, where they previously fled to escape the drought that has ravaged Somalia over the last three years.
Floods have destroyed many shelters, leaving vulnerable families exposed to the harsh wind and ongoing rain.
Roads have also been cut off, leaving people without access to adequate food.
“It feels like the whole country is flooding,” lamented Aliow Mohamed, Islamic Relief’s country director in Somalia.
The official said people had suffered severely from drought and now they are suffering from flooding. Due to the drought, an estimated 8,5 million people in the country are in need of humanitarian aid and 1,5 million children are acutely malnourished
“This quick shift demonstrates the increasing volatility of our climate and how climate-related crises affect the poorest people most of all,” Mohamed said.
The United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) has released US$25 million to help people in the country brace against the impact of these disasters.
UNOCHA reports that 61 380 people have been affected in Kenya. Of these, 36 000 have been displaced.
Floods have also led to infrastructure damage, livestock and property losses, and restricted access to roads in various regions.
– CAJ News