More than a million people have been displaced by flooding caused by heavy rains that have been affecting Somalia for several weeks, the Somali president announced on Wednesday evening.
The Horn of Africa is facing torrential rains and floods linked to the El Nino weather phenomenon, which have claimed dozens of lives and caused large-scale displacement, particularly in Somalia, where the massive rains have destroyed bridges and flooded residential areas.
"Our country is in a critical state and our people have been affected by the floods everywhere," President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud said in an address, adding that the floods had displaced over a million people and killed 101 in Somalia, which has a population of around 17 million.
The head of state also warned against the proliferation of disease.
The authorities in Mogadishu declared a state of emergency on November 12 in response to the scale of the disaster.
The Horn of Africa is one of the regions most vulnerable to climate change, and extreme weather events are becoming increasingly frequent and intense.
At least 120 people have been killed by flooding in Kenya, and 57 in Ethiopia.
"It's a disastrous situation. Regions that were struggling to recover from the economic and environmental impacts of a prolonged drought are now doubly hit by floods", deplored the NGO Action Contre la Faim in a statement on Wednesday.
The region is emerging from its worst drought in forty years, following several disappointing rainy seasons that have left millions in need and devastated crops and livestock.
El Niño, generally associated with rising temperatures, droughts in some parts of the world, and heavy rains in others, is set to continue until April.
This meteorological phenomenon has already wreaked havoc in East Africa. Between October 1997 and January 1998, gigantic floods fuelled by the torrential rains it caused claimed more than 6,000 lives in five countries in the region.