It has now been close to two months since famine was declared in the Horn of Africa. Indeed, the pictures coming out of Somalia are quite distressing and aid is desperately needed to avert a human catastrophe. More than four million Somalis are living in famine zones, according to the United Nations, with 750,000 at risk of starving to death in the next few months. A protracted drought has been made worse by decades of war, high food prices and local militants blocking foreign food aid to those who need it the most.
Before the famine had been declared, ADRA was already on the ground implementing emergency interventions in Somaliland and Puntland. Through a network funded intervention – Puntland Emergency Drought Response Project (PUDER) ADRA was able to provide emergency water supply to an estimated 8,000 people from 7 villages in Nugal Region of Puntland. ADRA Somalia’s team on the ground recently had a chat with the WASH Chairman of one of the beneficiary villages Mr. Abdikareem Nur. Says he: “Reebanti village seems to have borne the brunt of the harsh drought. It would even had been worse had it not been for the fact that we had stored enough water in the two existing berkads in the village and were also lucky to be one of the recipients of the water trucking initiative by ADRA. This has greatly helped our village survive through the hardest of times and we hope and pray that the expected rains will be enough this time round”. According to Nur, a lot of livestock deaths were averted as a result of regular water supply. In order to be better prepared, the village has now dug two large water catchments and are in the process of mobilizing funds to construct three additional berkads. “Thank you ADRA for coming to our village’s assistance during this harsh time”, he concludes.
Moving further east towards Mudug, the ADRA assessment team is met with the Head of Gowlalo Village Mr. Osman Abdi Farrah. Through an ongoing ADRA Network and ADRA Switzerland/Swiss Solidarity funded intervention, the village which has over 400 households has recently benefitted from the rehabilitation of a previously non functional borehole. Mr. Farrah explains that the community has greatly benefitted from the rehabilitation since members of his village no longer have to trek long distances in search of water. The livestock – which are one of the main economic mainstays of the members of his village – all seem to have relatively good body conditions. He explains that this can be attributed in part to the availability of water. The intervention aims to strengthen the resilience of part of the drought affected population in Puntland and Galmudug Region of Central Somalia by increasing access to safe water and improve IDP conditions through provision of NFIs. Through this intervention thus far, over 900 households have been reached and it is envisaged that over 19,000 beneficiaries will be reached by project end.
ADRA has also carried out food distribution exercises targeting IDPs in Galmudug Region. Through an ADRA Austria funded intervention, food rations consisting but not limited to rice, beans and vegetable oil have been provided to approximately 370 IDP families. Through this intervention, reprieve has been brought to women, children and the elderly who have borne the greatest brunt of the famine.
ADRA Somalia is open for funding resources for immediate response to the situation. With adequate funding, the Agency will be able to implement the following emergency activities...
- Emergency Water Trucking.
- Provision of Food Rations (rice, sugar, powdered milk and vegetable oil).
- Support/Repair of Strategic Boreholes.
- Rehabilitation of Water Points (wells and berkads).
- Construction of Water Storage Facilities.
- Provision of Non Food Items (plastic sheets for shelter, sleeping mats, blankets/sheets, mosquito nets, water containers and basic utensils).
- Construct Latrines in IDPs Camps.
- Provide Chlorine Tablets, Hygiene and Sanitation Training.