Experts warn of looming floods along the Juba and Shabelle rivers
There is high risk of flooding along the Juba and Shabelle rivers given the onset of rains in Somalia and the Ethiopian highlands, the UN has warned. Through the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the report noted that the areas to watch along the Shabelle River include Beletweyne town and its environs; where the river is currently near bankfull and other riverine towns in the Lower Shabelle region. Areas to watch along the Juba include Luuq and the mid reaches of the River. The flood risk could be further exacerbated by weak river embankments and open river banks commonly seen in Somalia. The Deyr rains (September-December) began in some parts of the country, according to the FAO-led Somalia Water and Land Information Management (SWALIM). Parts of the north eastern regions started to receive rains in mid-September and the last week of September also saw moderate rains in parts of the Gedo region in Jubaland. The rains are projected to be more widespread during the coming weeks as indicated in the map and the season is expected to end in early December.