2030 SDGs

Nature-based solutions supporting climate resilience in the Juba-Shabelle River basin

Photo:  Flooding in Beletweyne 2016 © AMISOM/Flckr

Flooding events in Somalia are a devastating and recurring natural hazard, causing loss of life and extensive damage to agriculture, wildlife, and local economies. The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) of the Government of the United Kingdom is supporting implementation of the project “Sustainable Flood Management and Risk Reduction Action” in Somalia. The project is being implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), in collaboration with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), from July 2021 to March 2022.

In the implementation of the project, UNEP undertaking research into the potential of nature-based solutions in mitigating flood and drought hazards. UNEP-DHI Centre team is providing the technical inputs to enable this research that can support Somali decision-makers in planning and upscaling of nature-based approaches to flood mitigation.

UNEP is working closely with the Ministry of Energy and Water Resources (MOEWR) in the project implementation, and it is expected that the most direct beneficiaries of the findings and tools will be the newly established National Flood and Drought Task Force, the existing State Flood Task Force members from Hirshabelle, Jubaland and Southwest, and decision-makers and planners regarding flood and drought mitigation/disaster management.

The project’s study areas are the Shabelle River Basin and key urban centres from Beledweyne, Jalalaqsi, Bulo Burde, Mahaday, to Jowhar; and the flash flood affected areas of Garowe and Qardho, in Puntland State.

The broader project objectives are following:
1. To provide an enabling environment to support government ownership and coordination of flood risk reduction.

2. To improve the ability of communities to adopt flood risk mitigation measures.

3. To establish evidence-based documentation of effective strategies for flood management.

UNEP-DHI Centre is supporting UNEP in the project implementation with specific focus on improving the understanding of the flood dynamics within the basin, and investigating the possibilities for employing nature-based solutions in that context.

The center’s contribution is particularly focused on:
– Providing data, information, and tools to enable flash flood risk assessment.

– Investigating NbS in the project area. 

– Strengthening capacity of the flood and drought task force to take action through workshops, feedback, and sharing of research findings.

Watch this inspiring video about the ongoing project below (developed for COP26 in November 2021).

For more information about the project contact Silvia Leirião, project manager at DHI, or Maija Bertule, senior technical advisor at the UNEP-DHI Centre.

Further material:

Applicability of Nature-based Solutions for Flood and Drought Management in Somalia:

Flash Flood Risk Assessment Data and Tools for Somalia

Project Brief

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UNEP-DHI Centre on Water and Environment

Agern Allé 5, 2970 Denmark

Tel: +45 45169200