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Published On: Sat, May 6th, 2017

Somaliland:Herding her two last goats

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SOMALILAND: As pastoralists lose their livestock, many are forced to survive on dirty water. We meet five families struggling to cope with hunger in Somalia’s worst drought in 20 years.

April 7, 2017. Ferdigab, Somaliland. Mako Ogli, 23 years old, walks the two animals she has left of the 150 herd she had two years ago. With her son Mohamed, 2 years old, she spends the day on the look for grass and water for the weak animals and cutting tree branches to feed them. Before the drought, she used to live in Ferdigab, but when the water got scarce, she moved with all her things and her two children, walking for a whole day and night to Wereg’s village. The drought followed her there, and she lost most of her livestock. “We had no other choice than to come back here. It is the only place I know with some water left” she says. Four months ago, when she returned to Ferdigab, she received unconditional money transfers from the Norwegian refugee council (NRC). Three times she benefited from 150 USD to buy food and clothes. It is the only humanitarian help she received since the beginning of the drought. Now, as her children are getting sick, feeling cold and coughing, the money allows her to buy them pain killers.

April 7, 2017. Ferdigab, Somaliland. Mako Ogli, 23 years old, walks the two animals she has left of the 150 herd she had two years ago. With her son Mohamed, 2 years old, she spends the day on the look for grass and water for the weak animals and cutting tree branches to feed them. Before the drought, she used to live in Ferdigab, but when the water got scarce, she moved with all her things and her two children, walking for a whole day and night to Wereg’s village. The drought followed her there, and she lost most of her livestock. “We had no other choice than to come back here. It is the only place I know with some water left” she says. Four months ago, when she returned to Ferdigab, she received unconditional money transfers from the Norwegian refugee council (NRC). Three times she benefited from 150 USD to buy food and clothes. It is the only humanitarian help she received since the beginning of the drought. Now, as her children are getting sick, feeling cold and coughing, the money allows her to buy them pain killers.

Mako Ogli

Mako Ogli (23) walks the two animals she has left. Two years ago her herd was 150 animals strong. With her 2-year-old son Mohamed, she spends the day searching for grass and water to keep her animals alive, cutting withered tree branches to feed them.

Before the drought, Mako lived in Ferdigab village. But when the water became scarce, she gathered her two children and walked for a day and night to reach Wereg village. But the drought followed them there, and she lost most of her livestock.

“We had no choice than to come back here. It is the only place I know with some water left,” says Mako.

 

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Mako Ogli’s last two goats look frail and weak. Photo: NRC/Adrienne Surprenant

 

Efrah

“I know the water is not good, but we have no other option. We get sick, but at least we are not dehydrated.”

Efrah (20), mother of four children, walks to a water source near Shimbirale’s internally displaced people’s camp. In one of the two wells in the dry riverbed, she draws water that she will use to cook and drink.

 

Efrah, a 20 years old mother of 4, walks two times a day to the water source near Simbirale’s internally displaced people’s camp. In one of the two wells in the dry riverbed, she draws a non-drinkable water, that she will use to cook and drink. “I know the water is not good, but we have no other option. We get sick, but at least we are not dehydrated” she says.
She lives in Shimbirale since more than a year, having lost almost all her livestock in the first year of the drought. There, she gave birth to her two younger children, the youngest being 8 months old. So far, she has received no humanitarian help.
When they arrived in Shimbirale, the Norwegian Refugee Council saw no other humanitarian organization working, and huge needs. Three people had just died on the day they registered the displaced pastors, and many were very sick. They gave twice Unconditional Money Transfers of 150$ to 100 households, and provided water in this camp of 300 households (approximately 1800 people).Read caption

Efrah lives in Shimbirale camp for dosplaced people in Somaliland. Photo: NRC/Adrienne Surprenant

 

Like many of the camp’s 1,800 inhabitants, she has lost all her livestock to the drought.

I know the water is not good, but we have no other option. We get sick, but at least we are not dehydrated.

Efrah (20), mother of four children.

Efrah, a 20 years old mother of 4, walks two times a day to the water source near Simbirale’s internally displaced people’s camp. In one of the two wells in the dry riverbed, she draws a non-drinkable water, that she will use to cook and drink. “I know the water is not good, but we have no other option. We get sick, but at least we are not dehydrated” she says.
She lives in Shimbirale since more than a year, having lost almost all her livestock in the first year of the drought. There, she gave birth to her two younger children, the youngest being 8 months old. So far, she has received no humanitarian help.
When they arrived in Shimbirale, the Norwegian Refugee Council saw no other humanitarian organization working, and huge needs. Three people had just died on the day they registered the displaced pastors, and many were very sick. They gave twice Unconditional Money Transfers of 150$ to 100 households, and provided water in this camp of 300 households (approximately 1800 people).

Efrah drwas water from one of the wells outside Shimbirale camp for internally displaced people. Photo: NRC/Adrienne Surprenant

 

Gorsho

Gorsho (36) worries about her children that have been ill for three months. They suffer from malnutrition, fever, cold and diarrhoea. She has already lost her 4-year-old daughter, Fatouma.

“I am afraid that if the rain does not come it will get worse. I do not want to lose all my children because of hunger and malnutrition.”

The family has been forced to survive on one meal a day for the past four months.

“For the baby, I have only little milk to give. I eat almost nothing to leave more for my children. I think about them first.”

 

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Gorsho and her 1-year-old baby Hayat live in Shimbirale camp for displaced people. Photo: NRC/Adrienne Surprenant

I am afraid that if the rain does not come it will get worse. I do not want to lose all my children because of hunger and malnutrition.

Gorsho (36), mother of four children.

Hodosalat and Zacharie

“My child is feeling hungry, something he never experienced before. I did not think it was possible that such a thing would happen to us.”

 

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Hodosalat and her 2-year-old son are eating water with sugar to survive the drought. Photo: NRC/Adrienne Surprenant

 

When we meet Hodosalat (21) and her two-year-old son Zacharie, they have been eating water with sugar for four days. They only have a small bag of sugar left, which was donated by neighbours.

After last year’s dry month of August, Hodosalat’s animals were too weak to walk to a water point. Without transport or camels to carry water, she was unable to save her livestock. Helplessly, she watched them die.

 

Gorsho, 36 years old, mother of 8 children. “For the baby, I have only little milk to give. I eat almost nothing to leave more for my children. I am thinking about them first” she says. A month ago, she lost her daughter Fatouma, 4 years old. She keeps worrying as her other children have been sick for more than three months. They suffer from malnutrition, fever, cold and diarrhea.
She lives with five children in Shimbirale’s internally displaced people’s camp. Her two older sons and her husband stayed in the rural areas, two days walk away, to take care of their 20 animals that are still alive. Before the drought, the family was united, keeping together their herd of 180 goats and sheep. “Now that I am alone to take care of the family, with my husband being somewhere in the bushes, I am afraid because I cannot pay the medication my children need. I am afraid that if the rain does not come it will get worst. I do not want to lose all my children because of hunger and malnutrition. We are in an emergency situation. We need everything, but food first.”
Since 4 months, Gorsho and her kids have been eating one meal a day. In her arms, she holds Hayat, 1 year. On pictures 6,7,8 : Yurub, 9 years old.

Hodosalat and her 2-year-old son. Photo: NRC/Adrienne Surprenant

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When January arrived, Hodosalat had nothing left. Hungry and dehydrated, she and her son moved to Gembi camp for displaced people, hoping to receive some support. So far, her neighbours have shared the little they receive with her and her son.

Jinoy Canab

Jinoy Canab’s family lost 200 animals to the drought.

“Two years ago, it was the first failure of the rain season. We were living in the west. We walked day and night for a week with the seven children on a camel to get closer to Garadag, where there was a source of water,” Jinoy recalls.

“We took patience from God but the rain never came. We needed to leave but did not have the money to pay a truck, so we walked to Shimbirale. It took two days and two nights. Now, we live in distress. We are beggars.

 

 

April 7, 2017. In Gembi’s Internally displaced people (IDP) camp. Hodosalat, 21 and Zacharie, 2, have been eating water with sugar for the last 4 days. They only have left a small bag of sugar, donated by neighbors. “My child is feeling hungry, something he never experienced before. I did not think it was possible that such a thing happens to us” says Hodosalat.
After a dry month of August, her animals became too weak to walk up to a water point. Without transportation, or camels to carry water, she was unable to do anything for them. They stopped being able to stand, and started dying in September. When 2017 begun, Hodosalat had nothing left, and started feeling hunger. She has a pressure problem in the leg, and it started getting worst. She moved to Gembi in March, hoping to receive some support. So far, she benefited nothing from NGO’s but her neighbors that did have shared with her what they received.
The Norwegian Refugee Council gave Unconditional Money Transfers of 150$ to 70 families in Gembi’s camp. There is an estimated 150 households in this IDP camp, close from Garadag town, Sanaag region, Somaliland.

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Jinoy and her granddaughter in Shimbirale camp for displaced people in Somaliland. Jinoy tells her family to stay inside and not to run too much, so they do not get exhausted. Photo: NRC/Adrienne Surprenant

 

The Norwegian Refugee Council has provided Jinoy and her family with cash transfers, which allows them to buy food for her children, and pay their debt to the food vendor.

But hunger has already affected her grandchildren. Jinoy’s granddaughter Muna barely walks. Now, Jinoy tells her family not to run and to stay inside in the shade to save their strength.

 

April 7, 2017. In Gembi’s Internally displaced people (IDP) camp. Hodosalat, 21 and Zacharie, 2, have been eating water with sugar for the last 4 days. They only have left a small bag of sugar, donated by neighbors. “My child is feeling hungry, something he never experienced before. I did not think it was possible that such a thing happens to us” says Hodosalat.
After a dry month of August, her animals became too weak to walk up to a water point. Without transportation, or camels to carry water, she was unable to do anything for them. They stopped being able to stand, and started dying in September. When 2017 begun, Hodosalat had nothing left, and started feeling hunger. She has a pressure problem in the leg, and it started getting worst. She moved to Gembi in March, hoping to receive some support. So far, she benefited nothing from NGO’s but her neighbors that did have shared with her what they received.
The Norwegian Refugee Council gave Unconditional Money Transfers of 150$ to 70 families in Gembi’s camp. There is an estimated 150 households in this IDP camp, close from Garadag town, Sanaag region, Somaliland.

Amina Abdullah, 35 years old, « lost her mind » after the death of her husband, and the loss of her 200 animals in November 2016, according to her mother Jinoy Canab, 50.
Jinoy recalls how the drought changed her life : “Two years ago, it was the first failure of the rain season. We were living in the West and walked seven days, seven nights with the seven children on a camel to get closer to Garadag, where there was a source of water. We took patience from God but the rain never came. We needed to leave but did not have the money to pay a truck, so we walked to Shimbirale, 2 days, 2 nights. Now, we live in distress, we are beggars.”
Since they live in Shimbirale’s internally displaced people’s camp, they have received help from the Norwegian Refugee Council three times. The monthly unconditional cash transfers have allowed them to pay their debt to the food vendor, and to buy clothes and more food for the children. “Aprat from that, we received no other assistance. You see my house, there is nothing here” Jinoy says.
Now, Jinoy recommends to her family to stay inside and not to run too much, so they do not get exhausted, even if they have little food to eat. Amina cooks rice with one tiny bag of tomato sauce, her daughter Muna, 4 years old, on her lap. Muna can only murmur and barely walks.

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Jinoy´s daughter Amina cooks rice with one tiny bag of tomato sauce for the family. Photo: NRC/Adrienne Surprenant

 

Two consecutive seasons without rain have forced a staggering 615,000 people to abandon their homes since last November, in search of food and water.

The Norwegian Refugee Council is working continuously to ensure clean water and cash support for internally displaced people in Somaliland.

 

 

April 8, 2017. Alan Bulale is the Madrasa (school) teacher in Shimbirale. Every day, he teaches Coran for free, to 30 to 40 children from the Internally Displaced People’s camp. “How can I charge them, when I know they did not even get a breaskfast! They are so many coming here that have not eaten. And some that don’t come certain days because they are too weak, or got sick”, he says.
He comes from Shimbirale’s village, where around 400 families live. In the last three months, with the arrival of displaced pastors having lost all or most of their livestock, Shimbirale’s size almost doubled, passing from 400 to 700 households. Villagers are doing what they can to help the IDPs, but most of them also lost their livelihood, like Alan. “I was personally affected twice by the drought. First, I lost all of my livestock. Second, I lost the money I was making for teaching, because people are too poor to pay for education now. The drought made me loose all my sources of income.” Allan is worried, as he has 8 children to feed.
When they arrived there, the Norwegian Refugee Council saw no other humanitarian organization working, and huge needs. Three people had just died on the day they registered the displaced pastors, and many were very sick. They gave twice Unconditional Money Transfers of 150$ to 100 households, and provided water in this camp of 300 households (approximately 1800 people).

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Children are learning the Quran in Shimbirale. Photo: NRC/Adrienne Surprenant

SOMALILAND: As pastoralists lose their livestock, many are forced to survive on dirty water. We meet five families struggling to cope with hunger in Somalia’s worst drought in 20 years.

 

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