Parts of Somalia hit driest season in 40 years as climate drought worsens

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Parts of Somalia hit driest season in 40 years as climate drought worsens

Almost 90% of Somalia is currently in the grip of a severe drought, after three consecutive unsuccessful rainy seasons. Some regions are experiencing their driest season in 40 years. Almost 3.5 million people are already acutely food insecure, and millions more are now at risk of going hungry by the start of next year.

With no respite in sight, the chances of pastoralists to plant next season’s crops or find pasture for livestock are dwindling.

“The people of Jubaland in the south, Gedo, Mudug, Nuugal, Bari, Toghdheer and Sool have been hit the hardest. Some have already experienced severe drought for more than a year and have had to watch their livestock, crops and savings perish before their eyes. They urgently need water, food and money to save lives, ”said Amjad Ali, Oxfam Country Director in Somalia.

Many farmers and herders have told Oxfam harrowing stories of how drought devastated their lives. Maryan Abdullahi, a farmer living on the outskirts of Dudumaale village said:

“We didn’t receive any rain for two seasons. Our livestock and our own lives are in danger. In Dudumaale, we went to fetch water from the berkeds [traditional Somali water cisterns], but all berkeds are empty right now. The water canister costs $ 4, which we cannot afford.

Most natural water sources have dried up, pushing up the price of drinking water. The price of a 200-liter water canister exceeded the five-year average by 45% in Gaalkacyo, Mudug region, 70% in Jilib, Middle in Juba region and 172% in Garowe, in the region of Nugaal, last October.

Persistent climate-induced drought, exacerbated by the ongoing conflict, locusts and COVID-19, has fueled hunger in Somalia and will leave 7.7 million people – nearly half the population – in urgent need of aid by 2022. This is a 30% increase since 2021. Somalia already ranks first on the Global Hunger Index with more than half of its population suffering from extremely low levels. alarming hunger and malnutrition.

Most natural water sources have dried up, pushing up the price of drinking water. The price of a 200-liter water canister exceeded the five-year average by 45% in Gaalkacyo, Mudug region, 70% in Jilib, Middle in Juba region and 172% in Garowe, in the region of Nugaal, last October.

Persistent climate-induced drought, exacerbated by ongoing conflicts, locusts and COVID-19, has fueled hunger in Somalia and will leave 7.7 million people – nearly half the population – in urgent need humanitarian aid by 2022. This is a 30% increase since 2021. Somalia already ranks first on the Global Hunger Index in the world, with more than half of its population suffering from extremely alarming levels of hunger and malnutrition.

Khadra Yusuf Saleban, a 48-year-old displaced woman from Bali-docol camp said: “I have a lot of fears about [having no] water and food for my children and my parents. Our cattle are the backbone of our life. I lost everything in the last drought. Without water and food, there will be the deaths of our livestock and families, especially children and the elderly. “

Oxfam and its partners have already reached nearly 185,000 of the most vulnerable people across the country, with clean water and sanitation, food and rehabilitation programs.

Aydrus Daar, Executive Director of WASDA, one of Oxfam’s local partner organizations, said:

“I have been involved in droughts since 1991 and I have never seen a drought that has affected people as much as this one. Many pastoralists have lost 100% of their livestock. This has never happened in living history. Our greatest concern is impending famine.

“During the drought crisis of 2011, an estimated 50,000 to 100,000 people lost their lives. Despite the warnings, the international humanitarian system has done too little too late. We have to make sure that history does not repeat itself. We must act now. More than a third of the humanitarian appeal for Somalia this year is unfounded, ”said Amjad Ali, Oxfam Country Director in Somalia.

To help prevent the disaster from worsening, Oxfam and its partners aim to double the number of people affected, by providing the most vulnerable in south-central Somalia, North Western of Somaliaand Northeastern State with water, food and money to save lives over the next six months. Oxfam also aims to help communities rebuild their lives and adapt to expected cyclical climate disasters.

Oxfam urgently needs $ 15 million to strengthen its humanitarian response in Somalia and save lives.

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