More than 695,000 people have been affected by flash floods and river floods caused by ongoing heavy rainfall in Somalia, the World Health Organization (WHO) said.
According to WHO, out of the figure, nearly 215,000 people have been displaced in the last few days as most flooding occurred in the regions of Bakool, Banadir, Bay, Hiiraan, Lower Juba, Middle Juba and Middle Shabelle.
“Urgent needs of the afflicted communities include shelter, food, health, nutritional supplies, access to water and sanitation, latrines, mosquito nets and tents,” WHO said in a statement released on Tuesday evening.
The UN agency warned that flooding can trigger the transmission of water-borne and vector-borne diseases, such as cholera, malaria and dengue fever, and contaminate water sources.
It said health authorities and WHO have alerted the Early Warning System in Somalia and agency’s communicable disease surveillance officers to look out for the emergence of any waterborne or vector-borne diseases to respond to and manage any resulting disease outbreaks in a timely manner.
WHO said in its close collaboration with the ministry of health said it has airlifted and prepositioned 30.1 tonnes of emergency medical supplies to Belet Weyne, Baidoa and Kismayo to treat illnesses commonly spread during emergencies as part of an immediate response.
“These provisions include basic, essential, medical drugs, oral rehydration supplies (ORS), water-testing kits and cholera treatment supplies. Similar medical supplies will soon be sent to the South West and Jubaland States,” it said.