One person half submerged in flooded area

From drought to floods: El Niño worsens the humanitarian crisis in Somalia

Garowe, 10 November - The climate phenomenon El Niño has caused devastating floods in Somalia, worsening an already dire humanitarian crisis in many parts of the country. Reports indicate that 29 people have been killed, over 334,000 people had their houses washed away, and close to 1.2 million lost their livelihoods.

The devastating impacts of the heavy rains have forced many people to move in search of shelter and ways of earning a living. For most, this is a second displacement as they had already been pushed out of their homes by a prolonged drought. 

The floods have also destroyed key infrastructure, including roads and bridges, hampering access to clean water, health centers, and food. Sanitation facilities have also been damaged, leading to an increased risk of waterborne diseases. 

“The toll of the floods is compounded by the fact that the communities most affected were also impacted by the drought. Education has been disrupted in many places, including some of the CARE-supported schools. Floods have destroyed classrooms and washed away learning materials," said Ummkalthum Dubow, CARE Country Director in Somalia.

Dubow also highlighted the disproportionate impacts of the floods on women and girls:

"Women and girls are now facing higher risks of Gender-Based Violence due to a lack of adequate shelter, limited health services, and exposure to harsh weather. We are calling upon the international community to provide urgent funding to save lives and livelihoods in Somalia. The time to make a difference for affected communities is now.”

CARE's response to the floods

Since the start of the flooding, CARE has distributed cash to over 48,000 people in South Central and Puntland and plans to reach a further 48,000 in the coming weeks. CARE is also working to start the delivery of clean water, healthcare, nutrition, and protection support for women and girls.

For media inquiries, please contact Iolanda Jaquemet, Senior Humanitarian Communications Coordinator, CARE International via: [email protected].