Somalia experiences two types of flooding: river floods and flash floods. River floods occur along the Juba and Shabelle rivers in Southern Somalia, whereas flash floods are common along the intermittent streams in the northern part of the country. In the recent past, the country has experienced an increasing severity and frequency of floods. The historically most recent severe floods were those of the Deyr in 1961, 1977, 1997, and 2006, and the floods of the Gu in 1981 and 2005. These floods resulted in human casualties and major economic damage.
Whereas flash floods in Somalia result from localised rains, river flooding along the Juba and Shabelle rivers are primarily due to drainage from catchment areas located in the Ethiopian highlands, which normally experience heavier and more frequent rainfall than what occurs in Somalia. The flooding is worsened by illegal openings on the river embankments (made to create outlets for irrigation water during the dry season). Water coming out of the river through these openings during high river flows cause havoc to the adjacent land.
SWALIM has developed a Flood Mapping/Monitering tool in order to assist in collection, synthesis and sharing of flood data and information. This tool has the follwoing major sections; the dashboard and the web map.
The dashboard section allows a user to interact with the data and produce insightful statistics in form of graphs and charts that can be exported and used in reports. The web map section is used for visualization purposes only. A user can choose to visualize flood data, field data (photos) and river breakages of different years and seasons.