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Published On: Mon, Apr 25th, 2016

Aid worker Sofia Buncy launches fundraising campaign to save lives in drought-stricken Somaliland

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Sofia, of Greenhead, needs £4,000 to build a well to help some of the 375,000 people currently at risk

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A photo of Somaliland people, who are currently at risk of dying of thirst and hunger due to a prolonged drought in the eastern African region

An aid worker has launched a campaign to save people from a devastating drought.

Dedicated Huddersfield woman Sofia Buncy, who works for Muslim Hands, needs £4,000 to build a well in the partially recognised state of Somaliland in eastern Africa, where hundreds of thousands of people are in desperate need of emergency help.

Sofia, who lives in Greenhead, has just returned from the state where she was assessing the situation and found people and cattle “dying from hunger and thirst.”

She travelled with other UK Muslim charities and Labour MP Diane Abbott to two of the worst hit regions, Habaas and Awdal, where she plans to place the well.

She visited refugee camps and witnessed the sad reality of what she described as a “worsening situation.”

The drought has been caused by weather conditions such as the El Nino weatherfront, which contributed to a lack of rains in 2015 and follows one from 2010 to 2012 when around 260,000 people died.

“As you approach the camps, it immediately becomes apparent that this is a desperate situation”, said Sofia, describing her experiences.

JS35871025Sofia Buncy

“The absence of water has resulted in the huge loss of livestock which was very much evident along the journey as we witnessed the bodies of cattle lying on the roadside.

“The people in the camps are truly in a desperate situation, and having travelled many miles (sometimes up to 700km) to arrive here, find a serious lack of water, food and shelter.

“Rivers and canals are arid and dried, trees are all but dying and the nearest water supply is many kilometres inland.

“The memory which will perhaps haunt me the most is witnessing several malnourished women trying to breastfeed their crying and starving babies with no joy as their milk stores have depleted.”

She said that although aid was now arriving, the areas were very remote and difficult to get to.

A further £729,572 had been requested by the UN to provide emergency relief.

Muslim Hands has been operating in the region since 2011.

A photo of Somaliland people, who are currently at risk of dying of thirst and hunger due to a prolonged drought in the eastern African region

“I am under no illusion that I can save all the inhabitants of Somaliland but I believe we should all do our bit”, Sofia said.

“I would like to build a well in the area so at least some inhabitants and animals can be sustained. It will help a small community to rebuild and reconstruct their lives.

“I would like to appeal to members of the public to please give this catastrophe some attention. Please help and donate so we can get emergency relief and build resilience for any future such droughts. Waiting another day will result in the loss of more lives.”

To donate to her cause, visit www.justgiving.com/sofia-buncy

Source: Huddersfield Examiner

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