Geospatial information for sustainable food systems

Improving flood and drought risk management in Somalia

The humanitarian situation in Somalia is highly fragile, with nearly 3.5 million people expected to face severe food consumption gaps, indicating a Crisis (IPC 3) or worse, by the end of 2022. Key drivers of acute food insecurity include poor and erratic rainfall, flooding, and conflict. Drought conditions have worsened over the past three below-average rainfall seasons, particularly in southern and northeastern regions, resulting in water shortages, livestock losses, and impending resource conflicts. Forecasts suggest a fourth below-average rainfall season, reminiscent of the devastating 2016/2017 drought.

Frequent floods along the Juba and Shabelle Rivers are exacerbated by encroachments on wetlands, driven by flood-sensitive economic activities and population movements. Urban expansion into wetland areas has altered floodplains, increasing flood risks.

SWALIM proposes a project with four key components to address flood and drought management in Somalia: 1) Mapping river breakages to inform flood prevention measures; 2) Updating strategic water points for drought response; 3) Capacity building for government staff in disseminating timely flood and drought information; and 4) Mapping agricultural areas and estimating crop yields to enhance food security.

The project aims to strengthen community resilience through improved early warning systems and flood/drought risk reduction, ultimately enhancing food security. SWALIM's technical expertise and comprehensive monitoring network are vital for supporting decision-making in natural resource management, disaster preparedness, and resilience-building for humanitarian and development agencies.