Since October, almost half a million people have been affected by heavy rainfall across Ethiopia, Somalia and Kenya.
In Kenya at least 100,000 people have been affected, with 29 deaths reported so far, and many thousands of people displaced. The rains have driven flash floods, mudslides and landslides in various counties, with Wajir county amongst the hardest-hit. Floods have damaged infrastructure, including roads and bridges, and access to food, education and healthcare has been hampered. The heavy rains follow a period of prolonged drought which saw the number of severely food insecure people in Kenya rise to 3.1 million
Ethiopia has witnessed repeated episodes of flooding in its Afar, Oromia, SNNP and Somali regions. Reportedly, some 202,202 people have been displaced across the country, the majority in Somali region.
In Somalia, heavy rains continue to be recorded over south-eastern Ethiopia and southern parts of Somalia. The Juba and Shabelle rivers in Somalia have shown a 200% increase in normal flow in the past two weeks, which significantly increases the risk of flooding along the rivers. The UN reports that at least 182,000 people have been displaced. Three people, including two children under the age of 10, were reported to have drowned.
In Somalia, Concern is seeking funds from Irish Aid to start early response activities to the ongoing flood crisis across South Central Somalia in order to mitigate the impact against the most vulnerable communities of Lower Shabelle. This will include working with the community to use sandbags to protect settlements from floodwaters where the bank of the river is damaged or weak. Concern will also distribute acute watery diarrhoea (AWD) kits, including water treatment tablets, jerry cans, soap and mosquito nets, together with an awareness campaign on AWD/cholera prevention to minimise the risk of an AWD/cholera and malaria outbreak.
Concern will also work with local NGO partner SHACDO to continue collection and sharing of early warning information, such as flood alerts, in order to share with local communities. In addition, SHACDO will start disease surveillance through their clinics.
In Kenya, Concern is accessing ECHO ALERT emergency funding to address the priority needs of the most affected households, including emergency shelter and food needs. With the support of OFDA, through its Emergency Nutrition and WASH Rapid Response Capacity programme in Ethiopia, Concern stands ready to respond to Emergency Nutrition, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene needs, in coordination with other partners.