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A Weather Monitoring Hub to Help Somalia Plan

Khadar Sheikh Mohamed is the director of the new national disaster early warning centre designed to help Somalia predict disasters. This year it has already suffered from flooding and a locust invasion. The centre opened in June, and is funded by Saudi Arabia through the United Nations’ World Food Programme. It was conceived after cycles of floods and drought caused widespread food shortages, including a famine in 2011 that killed more than a quarter of a million people. Out of Somalia’s 15 million people, 5.2 million currently need aid, the United Nations says, and more than 2.6 million are displaced due to fighting and natural disasters. At the centre, dozens of Somali analysts use the latest satellite data, from temperatures to wind pressure, to provide early warnings for flooding, drought, and locust movements. Government officials said they had initially struggled to recruit skilled workers locally.