Somali Prime Minister Mohamed Roble vowed on Thursday to devise a new strategy to mitigate and find a lasting solution to the perennial flooding affecting thousands of people in the southern region.
Roble who toured the flood-hit areas in the southeast region said he witnessed the unfolding of a dire humanitarian situation in Jowhar and surrounding villages.
“Due to seasonal flooding by Shabelle River, the regional capital is completely cut off, and so are the settlements in the environs, with no way out by the road,” he said in a statement issued in Mogadishu after the visit.
The remarks came after the United Nations (UN) had warned that the combined impact of drought and floods is likely to exacerbate the already critical food security situation in Somalia, where more than 2.7 million people are projected to be food insecure.
The prime minister said the floods have adversely affected poor villagers along the Shabelle River, noting that the internally displaced need urgent humanitarian intervention, including resettlement, provision of food, medicine and other critical supplies.
Roble called on the people living along the river to be extra vigilant and commended the resilience and solidarity shown by the residents, who have played a significant role in saving the lives of their families and vulnerable people in the affected areas.
The UN says the persistent heavy rains affected key air and road transportation routes, impacting on the availability of food supplies and partners’ ability to reach affected populations.