The Deyr 2020 rainy season (Sept/Oct—Dec) continued to spread in a few places during the last week. A dry period was observed in greater parts of Somaliland which has not recorded any rains since the beginning of the month. Light to moderate rains were observed in the Ethiopian highlands during the same period.
The last few days saw a reduction of river levels along the Shabelle. Currently, levels are within normal in Belet Weyne and Bulo Burti districts while the mid and lower reaches are still at high levels. Today’s River level at Belet Weyne is 5.25m, a drastic drop from last week; while in Jowhar the level is 5.20m, which is almost at bank-ful. In Agfooye, the levels are at full capacity and most parts of the riverine areas remain inundated. A recent ground survey by SWALIM indicates that there are several open and weak river embankments in Jowhar, Balcad and Afgooye districts with some ranging from 500m to 1,000m wide. Some villages continue to be under water since August 2020. River levels along the Juba increased slightly during the last few days due to moderate rains in the Ethiopian highlands.
The cumulative rainfall forecast for this week indicates moderate to heavy rains in many areas across the country, with minimal rains in the western parts of Somaliland and south of Bari region in Puntland.
The Ethiopian highlands whose soil moisture is already saturated due to heavy rains since July 2020 will see an increase of rainfall amounts this week. This will subsequently lead to a further increase in river levels especially along the Shabelle river.
Given the rainfall forecast and current situation along the two rivers, High Risk of flooding remains along the lower reaches of Shabelle while along the Juba River there is Moderate Risk of flooding foreseen . There is a also a High Risk of flash floods in the built up low lying areas especially in Bay and Bakool regions