La fonto de la rivero Shebelle estas adorita de la [[Arsi Oromo]] kaj la [[Sidamoj]]. Ĝi estas ĉirkaŭita de sankta [[arbaro]] de [[junipero]], kiu ekde [] estis sub la protekto de [[Islamo|islamaj]] Arsi.<ref>J. Spencer Trimingham, ''Islam in Ethiopia'' (Oxford: Geoffrey Cumberlege for the University Press, 1952), p. 260.</ref>
En 1989 danke al helpo de [[Sovetunio|sovetaj]] inĝenieroj, estis konstruita la [[akvobaraĵo]] Melka Wakena en la Supra Ŝebele ĉe la [[Montaro Bale]]. Produktante 153 megavatojn, tiu akvobaraĵo estas la plej granda [[Hidroelektra centralo]] de Etiopio.<ref>Lulseged Ayalew, [http://www.mediaethiopia.com/Engineering/Lulseged_on_hydroelectric.htm "Something that We Need to Know about Our River’s Hydropower Potential"].
Accessed 20 April 2006</ref>
The recent history of the Shabelle is marked by frequent destructive flooding. The Shabelle is said to have flooded every other year prior to the 1960s; that decade had only two devastating floods, the '' hidigsayley'' in 1965, and the ''soogudud'' in 1966. In the 1970s, the most devastating flood was the '' kabahay'' of 1978.<ref name=Ayele-35>Ayele Gebre-Mariam, [http://www.nccr-north-south.unibe.ch/publications/Infosystem/On-line%20Dokumente/Upload/AGM_CriticalIssueLand.pdf ''The Critical Issue of Land Ownership''], Working Paper No. 2 (Bern: NCCR North-South, 2005), pp. 35f ( accessed 19 January 2009)</ref> In 1996, floods devastated three woredas in Ethiopia. On 23 October 1999, the river unexpectedly flooded in the middle of the night, destroying homes and crops in 14 out of the 117 kebeles in [[Kelafo (woreda)|Kelafo]] woreda, as well as 29 of the 46 kebeles in neighboring [[Mustahil (woreda)|Mustahil]] woreda. According to the local authorities, 34 people and an estimated 750 livestock died, with 70,000 affected by the floods and in need of assistance.<ref>[http://www.africa.upenn.edu/eue_web/som1199.htm "Drought and Floods: Stress Livelihoods and Food Security in the Ethiopian Somali Region"] UNDP Emergencies Unit for Ethiopia report, dated November 1999 (accessed 28 December 2008)</ref> Two more recent floods was the ''dawdle'' in 2003, when about 100 livestock and 119 people were washed away, and the flood of April 2005, when about 30,000 persons were surrounded by floodwaters and 2000 camels and 4000 shoats had been washed away by flood; some locals consider this the worst flood in 40 years.<ref name=Ayele-35/>
In late April 2005, heavy rains generated widespread flooding throughout [[Somali Region, Ethiopia]] as well as Somalia, and caused the Shebelle River to burst its [[Stream bank|bank]]s. In May of that year, the flooding in the Somali Region alone had caused over 100 confirmed deaths and widespread property damage affecting over 100,000 persons. The floods have also destroyed shelters housing 25,000 Somali refugees in [[Kenya]].-->