UN says death toll from floods in Somalia rises to 110 people

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An internally displaced Somali boy wades through flood waters outside their makeshift shelter following heavy rains at the Al Hidaya camp for the internally displaced people on the outskirts of Mogadishu, Somalia November 6, 2023 REUTERS/Feisal Omar

MOGADISHU, Somalia -- The death toll from the El Nino-induced heavy rains and flash flooding have killed at least 110 people and affected more than 2.4 million others in Somalia, the UN humanitarian agency said on Sunday.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said the devastating floods which have exacerbated Somalia's hunger crisis have displaced more than one million people in at least 36 districts.

"At least 37 boats have been deployed to deliver supplies or evacuate tens of thousands of people who are trapped by flood water in 10 locations in Hirshabelle and Jubaland states," the OCHA said in its latest Update released in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia.

The raging flash floods which began in October have also disrupted infrastructure, trade, education, and food supply services across the country.

The floods followed the worst drought in the country in four decades which has decimated livestock and crops, pushing the country to the brink of famine.

According to the OCHA, concern continues to grow over the likely spread of water-borne diseases with suspected cases of Acute Watery Diarrhoea (AWD)/cholera being reported in Hirshabelle and Galmudug states.

"An outbreak would pose a significant threat to communities with limited healthcare facilities," it warned.

The agency said humanitarians, authorities, and local communities have assisted at least 820,000 people, about 30 percent of those affected.

It said light rain is forecast over the coastal areas of Middle Shabelle Lower Juba, and Banadir until Dec. 5, and dry conditions over the rest of the country and Ethiopian highlands.

It however said water levels remain high along the Shabelle River basin, with flooding reported in several areas.

"Twenty villages to the east of Jowhar town in Hirshabelle State are reportedly inundated. Mahaday town, which has been deluged for a month, has seen its sanitation facilities and some houses collapse," the OCHA said.

According to humanitarian agencies, the floods are the latest in a series of extreme weather events in recent years to hit Somalia, where communities find themselves at the sharp end of the global climate crisis.

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