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The student news site of Liberty High School in Frisco, Texas


The student news site of Liberty High School in Frisco, Texas


The student news site of Liberty High School in Frisco, Texas


Wingspan’s featured athlete for 4/4 is varsity track and field athlete, sophomore Cecelia Rowe.
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April 16 Daily Update
April 16 Daily Update
Joaquin Perez, WTV Producer • April 16, 2024

WTV's Karina Grokhovskaya brings you today's news and announcements including battle of the books, Red Rhythm Spring Show, and today's sports.

International Insight: Somalia

Sindhuja Pannuri
From Europe to Asia, South America to Africa, and all the way to Australia, Wingspan staff reporter Sindhuja Pannuri provides her insight on international events in this weekly blog.

Somalia is grappling with an unprecedented humanitarian crisis as historic floods, described by the United Nations as a once-in-a-century event, ravage the country and its east African neighbors. The catastrophe, triggered by heavy seasonal downpours, has uprooted hundreds of thousands of people, causing widespread destruction and exacerbating an already precarious situation in a region recovering from a severe drought. The challenges faced by the affected communities are numerous and widespread.

The Formation of Floods:

The floods, which began in early October, are a result of the combined impact of two climate phenomena: El Niño and the Indian Ocean Dipole. El Niño, characterized by Pacific Ocean warming, has intensified the seasonal rains, compounding the effects of the more localized Indian Ocean Dipole, during which warm waters are pushed to the Western part of the Indian Ocean, while upwelling occurs in the Eastern Indian Ocean. Somalia, emerging from one of its worst droughts in four decades, is particularly vulnerable to such extreme weather events.

According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), around 1.6 million people in Somalia are at risk of being affected by the floods. The heavy rains have already claimed at least 29 lives and displaced more than 300,000 people. The floods have further struck towns and villages across northern Kenya, affecting neighboring countries in East Africa.

Somalia has been experiencing disastrous flash floods due to climate change. The city of Jowhar, Somalia is shown flooded after years of extreme drought.
(AMISOM Public Information, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons)

Implications of Flooding:

The implications of the floods are far-reaching and multifaceted. Aid agencies warn that large-scale displacement, increased humanitarian needs, and further destruction of property are likely. The floods have submerged camps for people displaced by an Islamist insurgency, compounding the challenges faced by these vulnerable populations. Reports indicate that some 1.5 million hectares (3.7 million acres) of farmland, crucial for livelihoods, may be destroyed, instigating major food insecurity in the region.

Somalia now faces a compounded crisis. The UN’s Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Martin Griffiths, emphasizes the urgent need to take action, stating, “We know what the risks are, and we need to get ahead of these looming crises.”

Humanitarian Response and Challenges:

The UN has released $25 million in aid to address the immediate needs of the affected populations. However, relief efforts face significant challenges due to the inundation of critical infrastructure, including roads. Rescue operations are delayed, hampering the delivery of essential supplies to those in need.

The UN humanitarian agency warns of more rain in the coming days, particularly in southern Somalia, exacerbating the existing crisis. Flash floods have also been reported in neighboring Kenya and Ethiopia, adding to the complexity of the situation in the region.

This climate disaster underscores the devastating consequences of climate change on vulnerable communities. As extreme weather events become more frequent and severe, working towards sustainable solutions to mitigate the impact of climate change on regions already grappling with socio-economic challenges is the only way to move forward into a future that promotes a healthy livelihood for all people.

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About the Contributor
Sindhuja Pannuri, Staff Reporter
Sindhuja (Sindhu) Pannuri is a senior entering her second year of Wingspan staff. At school, she is captain of the varsity debate team and President of Youth and Government. In her free time, she reads books to escape reality and enjoys boxing in the ring. She’s so excited for what this year will hold!

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