Hargeisa(The FAO chief in Somaliland/Somalia Mr. Dick Trenchard has cautioned that many new problems may afflict pastoraists and their livestock,farmers and the internaly daplaced persons after the flash floods and that it was imperative that emergency ways of addressing the situation be realized.
In an Interview Mahmoud Walaaleye reporter with State owned had with Mr. Trenchard during his recent visit to Somaliland recently, the latter stated that they are re-programming, and bringing resources from other parts of their programs, to fund their relief efforts in Somaliland.
He said that FAO was concerned that the subsequent flash floods following the long dry spell would be disastrous.
“I was meeting pastoralists, livestock owners, agro-pastoralists and IDP’s, and we were concerned with the situation now, as rainfall started”,he said.
He explained further, “The question was whether problems are over, and obviously the answer was not at all. What we found, I think, we entered a new crisis now, which has different faces”.
Indeed the moment the rains fell, the aftermath was a disaster; animals were very weak and vulnerable, and hundreds of animals died last week with diarrhea and other diseases.
“For livestock owners the situation is very delicate and they need immediete support”, discerned Trenchard.
He said that agro-pastoralists similarly suffered a lot.
“The second thing we talked about was that of agricultural crisis; we have water on land, the rains has come, the soil is moisten and absolutely ready for planting, however, after two, three rainy seasons failed, people realy hasn’t got any cash for pockets”.
He said that there was abundantland ready to be planted, but, that the farmrs cannot afford tractors and that they need immediate support.
As concerns the question of the internally displaced persons, the IDPs, he said,”We are re-programming and bringing resources from other parts of our program, for example Somalia, and three million USD has just arrived”.
He continued, “We are now to support government ministry of Livestock and we will fund the farmers to foot their ploughing bills, buying seeds etc…”
On concerted efforts he said,“I was with the meeting with Peter de Clerk, deputy special representative of Secretary General, I think first, and foremost was to show the President, the absolute support of the International community, the UN, INGO’s and others to the response, and listen to government’s priorities, and realy the government leadership was very top, and is really impressive. President Mr. Silanyo gave us a very clear view of where he thinks priorities are which are fully alligned with ours. In terms of immediate outcome I think, it’s strengthened our commitment to support government priorities”.
On the question of coordination which saves lives in cases of natural disasters, he said that he knew that the government was very active hence he volubly lauded it’s mobiliztion efforts.
When asked on how he felt as FAO Somaliland office staff contributed money deducted from their salaries to drought assistance,he commented, “Oh I am proud the handover to Vice-president six thousand and one hundred, local initiative FAO Somaliland office staff contributed drought assistance, and I am really proud of it. I think it expresses and captures the passion of FAO team here in Hargeisa, we are all people who really care about food security of Somaliland, the contribution is small amount as compaered to the needs, but, on the other hand it shows our serious and massive commitment working as hard as we can”.