Somalia In 2021: Conflict, Climate Change, Human Displacement

UNOCHA Publishes New Assessment On Climate-caused Stresses

26 May 2021 by The Water Diplomat

Conflict, drought and flooding in erratic patterns cause human displacement and political instability in Somalia.

These conditions are exacerbated by a confusing and contentious election process and continuing disputes over water, land, and pasture, leading to an extension of Somalia’s security crisis, according to a new assessment from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) “Emergency Response And Preparedness Plan 2021 Somalia”.

Climatic change is causing erratic water challenges that frequently vary widely between water shortages and drought conditions, to flash floods and river breaches. Additional crises such as COVID-19 and locust infestations affect the complexity of the situation. These factors contribute directly to the protracted armed conflict in the region and drive communities to “negative coping” mechanisms.

Through the first quarter of 2021, more than 34 districts in Somalia already faced devastating water shortages, with almost 100,000 people displaced by droughtlike conditions since the end of 2020.  At least 3.4 million people are projected to be affected by drought or drought-like conditions by the end of 2021. Of these, approximately 380,000 are expected to be displaced due to droughtlike conditions and dry season.

Weather forecasts for the remainder of 2021 are expected to be affected by La Niña conditions with a second consecutive season of below-average Gu rainfall season forecast from April to June. Once again, locust infestation is forecast based on observation of immature swarms breeding in northern parts of the country. Widespread food insecurity is predicted through September 2021.

The UN agency calls for renewed effort to support communities with access to climate-resilient water services that are sustainable. The report calls for investment in all solutions to meet short, medium and long-term needs to withstand the various climate shocks. The issues of drought, flood and conflict require both State and Federal response that will optimize the speed and volume of response and preparedness.

Read full report here.

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