A picture taken with a drone of people walking in the flooded streets of Baidoa town, the administrative capital of Southwest State in Somalia, 06 November 2023. EFE/EPA/STR

Over 100 dead, 770,000 displaced due to floods in Horn of Africa

Nairobi, Nov 17 (EFE).- At least 111 people have died and over 770,000 displaced due to flash floods caused by the El Nino weather phenomenon in the Horn of Africa, according to the nonprofit Save the Children.

El Nino causes unusual warming of the Pacific oceans that increases the likelihood of floods in certain regions and droughts in others.

“Devastating flash floods have killed at least 111 people, including 16 children, across the Horn of Africa in recent weeks, with more than 770,000 people displaced and rains showing no signs of slowing down,” the non profit said in a statement late Thursday.

Kenya, Ethiopia, and Somalia are the worst affected, hit by incessant rains and flash floods since the start of the rainy season less than a month ago.

Kenya’s northern regions and the capital Nairobi have witnessed heavy rains and widespread flooding that has left 46 dead and displaced some 36,000 people, according to the nonprofit.

Similarly, incessant rainfall in Somalia has left the central town of Beledweyne completely submerged, after the Shabelle river burst its banks, displacing an estimated 250,000 people or 90 percent of the population.

Across Somalia, 32 people died, among them eight children, and more than 456,000 have been displaced, said Save the Children.

In neighboring Ethiopia, the El Nino phenomenon has also caused “relentless heavy downpours, which have led to flooding, landslides and displacement,” it added.

“Heavy flooding and displacement have cut off families and children from basic services including access to food, healthcare, water and hygiene services,” said Save the Children’s Ethiopia Director Xavier Joubert.

“With that comes the real risk of waterborne diseases including cholera and measles,” he underlined.

The nonprofit stressed on the need for humanitarian aid and said they were providing relief and healthcare services in the affected areas.

These floods have come after the worst drought recorded in the Horn of Africa in the last four decades, pushing the region on the brink of a famine.

Climate, armed conflict, high food prices and post-COVID-19 economic fall-out have caused record food insecurity in the Horn of Africa, with an estimated 60 million urgently in need of help, the United Nations warned in a report in June. EFE