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THOUSANDS of people have been displaced after heavy rains flooded central Somalia, with the United Nations warning that half a million people are affected.
Around 10,000 people have been evacuated from the flooded areas in an operation involving troops from Ethiopia and Djibouti.
The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said the floods were some of the worst Somalia has ever seen.
Camps are being set up to give shelter to those affected.
Speaking at a press conference in New York, the UN secretary general’s spokesman Stephane Dujarric said: “Internally displaced people remain the most vulnerable to the impact of the flooding, with many camps located in low-lying areas.
“Humanitarian partners on the ground have prioritised water, sanitation, hygiene, shelter and food response in their interventions.”
The floods have hit just months after a severe drought left six million Somalians in need of humanitarian assistance last year.
Somalian’s President Mohamed Abdullahi “Farmajo” Mohamed visited the affected areas on Tuesday and appealed to the international community for urgent support.
At least 100 people are estimated to have died following weeks of floods, landslides and heavy rains in Kenya, with the country’s Red Cross calling for emergency funding to deal with the humanitarian crisis.
Kenyan Red Cross spokesman General Abbas Gullet warned of outbreaks of water-borne diseases across Kenya and said that more effort was needed.
“We would urge the national government to declare this a national disaster so that deliberate effort can be made and resources mobilised to help the affected people.
“We need a national disaster management fund set up,” he said.
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