’22 personnes tuées dans les inondations en Somalie : ONU’

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Flash floods caused by heavy rainfall in central Somalia have killed 22 people and affected over 450,000, according to the UN’s humanitarian agency OCHA. The Shabelle River burst its banks, forcing tens of thousands out of their homes in Beledweyne town in Hiran region. The floods have left a trail of destruction, inundating homes and farmland, washing away livestock, temporarily closing schools and health facilities, and damaging roads. The disaster comes after a record drought that has left millions of Somalis on the brink of famine, with the troubled nation also battling an Islamist insurgency for decades.

Experts say that extreme weather events are happening with increased frequency and intensity due to climate change. Residents in Beledweyne town told AFP that the floods have become a familiar ordeal to many of them. Earlier this month, 135 people were killed and more than 9,000 left homeless after heavy rains lashed Rwanda, triggering floods and landslides in several parts of the hilly nation. More than 400 people lost their lives due to torrential downpours, floods and landslides last week in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

The extreme downpours affected close to two million people and washed away tens of thousands of livestock in Burundi, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda at the end of 2019. The situation is a reminder of the urgent need for countries to take action to mitigate the effects of climate change and to build resilience to extreme weather events.

Keywords: Somalia, floods, climate change, extreme weather events, drought, famine, insurgency, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo, East Africa.

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