Following heavy rains, people used boats to get around the Somali town of Bardere

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Following heavy rains, people used boats to get around the Somali town of Bardere

The Somali authorities say more than a million people have now been forced to abandon their homes in the country due to floods caused by the El Niño weather phenomenon. The heaviest rains in more than two decades have caused widespread destruction, displacement and death across the Horn of Africa.

It comes as world leaders gather in Dubai to discuss the climate crisis at the COP28 summit.

At least 270 people are reported to have died in Somalia, Kenya and southern Ethiopia as the continental region, which is just coming out of prolonged drought, braces for further torrential rains.

In Somalia alone, more than 100 people have died in flash floods.

Whole towns have been submerged forcing nearly their entire population to seek shelter elsewhere. President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has said the country is in a critical state.

Neighbouring Ethiopia and Kenya are also dealing with widespread floods.

The situation is expected to get more dire as heavy rains are predicted to continue to early next year.

The World Food Programme says the situation compounds the food security crisis in the region. There are also fears of disease outbreaks.

Humanitarian organisations are calling on world leaders meeting at COP28, to remember countries – like those in the Horn of Africa – which are vulnerable to the effects of climate change while contributing the least to it.

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