Somalia's Rainwater Management Challenges: Building Climate Resilience
Mogadishu, Somalia - Somalia is facing the worst drought in 40 years, impacting over 8 million people, which is half of its population. The country welcomes the arrival of spring [Gu’] rains this month, which could potentially bring some relief. However, the rains have also brought challenges in the form of flooding in several regions, causing deaths and destruction.
In Bardere, a town in the Gedo region, 17 people, including a mother and her children, lost their lives due to flash floods. The town was cut off by floodwaters, making it difficult for aid to reach the affected people. In the Nugal region of Puntland, video footage captured unused water flowing through a bridge in Garowe and heading to the Indian Ocean.
Experts attribute the droughts and floods to climate change. Somalia is among the countries most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Droughts, floods, and unpredictable weather patterns cause huge damage to infrastructure, agriculture, and livelihoods.
The current floods highlight the need for effective water management strategies to build resilience. Somalia needs to develop rainwater harvesting systems, construct dams and reservoirs to store water during the rainy season, and implement efficient irrigation systems. The country relies heavily on seasonal crops from rain-fed agriculture, making it vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.
As Somalia continues to face the impacts of climate change, there is a lack of preparedness by authorities for recurrent disasters, such as droughts and floods. The government of Somalia needs to prioritize water management strategies as part of its climate change adaptation plan. The government must invest in infrastructure, research, and development to ensure that Somalia builds resilience to the impacts of climate change. This includes the development of early warning systems, contingency planning, and risk reduction measures.
The international community can also support Somalia's efforts by providing technical and financial assistance. Donors can help fund the development of infrastructure, research, and development programs, as well as support capacity building for the government and local communities.
Somalia's challenges with rainwater management are emblematic of the broader challenges facing the country in the context of climate change. Effective water management strategies are necessary to build resilience, and the international community must provide support to help Somalia adapt to the impacts of climate change.