The United Nations envoy to Somalia today voiced his concern over the flooding affecting thousands of people mainly in the southern parts of the country, and highlighted the world body’s willingness to support efforts to provide aid to those affected.
“I am saddened by the heavy toll that the floods are taking on the people of Somalia, and deeply concerned about the situation of people who have lost homes and livelihoods,” said the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Somalia, James Swan.
“I extend my heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families and wish a speedy recovery to all injured and affected by the flooding,” he added. “The United Nations stands ready to work with Somalia’s federal and regional authorities to support affected communities.”
Tens of thousands of people have been displaced, and casualties have been reported. Farmland, infrastructure and roads have been destroyed, and livelihoods disrupted in some of the worst-hit areas.
Heavy seasonal rains triggered floods along the Juba and Shabelle rivers in Hirshabelle, Jubaland and South West states. Flash flooding was also reported in Benadir region, Jowhar in Hirshabelle, and Ceel Cade and Jamame in Jubaland.
“I want to thank the Government of Somalia for demonstrating leadership by setting up an inter-ministerial committee to coordinate flood response with state authorities,” the UN envoy said.
“The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and its humanitarian partners are working with the authorities to quickly deliver live-saving assistance to affected people,” Mr. Swan added.
“The World Food Programme is deploying a helicopter dedicated to support humanitarian response efforts in Belet Weyne and other affected locations. I’m grateful to the UN Support Office in Somalia for the temporary use of helicopters to assist in carrying out search-and-rescue operations despite pressing operational demands.”