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Quarter of a Million Somalis Forced to Leave Their Homes After Flooding

This year, Somalia has been hit by the worst drought in forty years, according to the country’s government. And the extreme weather doesn’t stop there. In the last week, the country has been hit by extensive flooding – a quarter of a million Somalis have left their homes after the torrential rains.

Five years in a row, Somalia’s rainy season between October and December has failed. The drought that now prevails in the country is judged to be the worst spring drought that Somalia has experienced in the last four decades. According to the UN, five million Somalis have suffered from famine and two million children are said to be malnourished. The population amounts to 17 million people.

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Heavy downpours led to a flash flood of the Shebele River, which flows southeast from Ethiopia into Somalia. The town of Beledweyne, located about 35 miles north of Mogadishu, has experienced flooding in the past – but this one is particularly extensive.

250,000 people in the district have had to leave their homes, The Guardian reports . Rainfall from March must have forced another hundred thousand to evacuate. In 2019, local people built embankments along the banks of the Shebele River, which have protected the area during previous downpours. This time the levees could not withstand the water pressure.

The newspaper has spoken to several residents of Beledweyne who describe that they have not seen such a significant flood in the area before. Several believe they will not return to their homes. This makes them a growing part of the world’s population who are predicted to have to move within their country as a result of climate change. The UN’s Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) predicts that by 2050, 216 million people will have to move within their country in the wake of a changing climate.

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