The Somaliland drought response committee has reported a severe water shortage and food scarcity critically affecting Lughaya and spreading across all districts of Awdal region in the country’s northwest.
The committee carried out a survey in 12 districts, where rain has not fallen for two years. They recorded the displacement of almost 2,500 families after losing all their livestock. Some families are moving towards Lughaya to access water wells in the hope of saving their last few animals.
Feysal Ali Sheikh, director of the drought response committee, said he and the survey team visited IDP camps in Lughaya, Gargaara, Abdi Geedi and Jidhi, where scores of drought-hit pastoralists were arriving every day.
The director said aid supplies were needed in the IDP camps to avert a humanitarian crisis. He said they saw rotting animal carcasses along the road indicating large scale livestock deaths.
Abshir Obsiye Egal, a pastoralist, migrated to Lughaya with his seven children and remaining livestock in December. He brought 18 goats and eight camels to the camp, but 11 goats and four camels died whilst they were in the camp.
He told Radio Ergo he joined the camps to get assistance but they had only received small handouts from locals. He said their plight was worsening by the day and he was worried his children might starve to death, as he got not get enough food for them all.
Abshir lost 80 goats and seven camels back in his village, about 15 km from Lughaya. When he came to the IDP camp he tried to sell off his last animals to feed his family but no buyer was interested in his skinny livestock.
There is no access to grazing or animal fodder in the camps. Local people cannot support this influx of people. The animals are continuing to die and the people fear it will be the children next.
Amina Hassan Obsiiye told Radio Ergo she woke up on 22 January to find five of her animals had died overnight.
“Only God knows if my remaining livestock will survive till the end of this month,” Amina said. Her last 10 goats have had no water or pasture for the past three days.
Amina and her four children trekked for three hours from the rural outskirts of Lughaya district to the town on 9 November. She said the family lost 80 goats during the last months of drought.
The drought response committee reported that the worst affected parts of Somaliland are Togdheer region and the coastal areas of Awdal, Sanaag and North West region.