Death toll from floods in Somalia rises to 96

The death toll from heavy rains and floods in Somalia has risen to 96, the head of the National Disaster Management Agency (SoDMA) said Thursday, according to Anadolu Agency reported.

Briefing Cabinet ministers in the capital Mogadishu, SoDMA Commissioner Mohamud Moalim said 2 million people have also been affected.

Following the meeting, the government called on the Somali community and aid agencies to scale up their support in helping people affected by the El Nino-induced floods.

The south-central state of Hirshabelle and Southwest and Jubaland states are the most affected areas of the country, said Moalim.

According to the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management of Jubaland, 954,255 people have been affected in the state alone.

“These figures are worrying and are expected to rise as the rains continue and river levels rise,” Ahmed Hassan Omar, Minister of Fisheries and Blue Economy for Jubaland state, said in a statement.

He said urgent support is needed in the areas heavily affected as all roads and most airstrips in the state are cut off due to the floods.

“Urgent intervention is needed in the affected districts. Much needed items include food, shelter, medicine and boats for evacuation in isolated areas,” he added.

The heavy rainfall in Somalia is expected to impact up to 1.5 million hectares (3.7 million acres) of farmland.

As the country is experiencing a humanitarian crisis, aid agencies said the 2023 Humanitarian Response Plan for Somalia, unveiled in February by the UN, its humanitarian partners and the Somali government, which seeks over $2.6 billion to assist 7.6 million people, remains significantly underfunded at 39%, demanding immediate action to bridge the financial gap.

Somalia has declared a “national humanitarian emergency” due to the floods.

The Turkish Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH) handed over humanitarian aid to SoDMA in Mogadishu earlier Thursday to help flood victims.

The humanitarian assistance from IHH included food packages, mosquito nets and tents to shelter families displaced by the ongoing floods.