El Nino in the Horn of Africa has affected many countries and communities including Somaliland. Droughts have affected livestock, farmlands and humans across the country. Somaliland has been seeing this drought processing for the past 2 years as a consequence of low rainfall across the years. The drought has resulted crop failure and massive loss of livestock. As a result, large numbers of agro-pastoralists and pastoralist have no means to feed themselves or their families. The worst affected areas include regions where farming is predominant and the country receives its farm produces. The government of Somaliland has continuously reiterated national emergency declaration and appealed to all aid partners to divert their efforts to the humanitarian responses.
In response to the prevailing situation, ActionAid Somaliland has responded with food support to the vulnerable communities. After a successful response to drought affected communities in December 2015 reaching 2,400 Individuals (400 Households) we continued with the food distribution as the situation became dire affecting more regions. In March we reached 7,680 (1,280 Households) individuals with much needed food support in 11 villages in Marodijeex, Gabiley and Sanaag Regions. Each household received 25 kg of rice, 25 kg of flour, 5 liter of cooking oil and 2.5 kg of milk powder. The survey done soon after the distribution suggested that the distributed food would last on average for 22.3 days. This food aid will not only support the immediate recipient but will reach wider population as 95% of recipients responded that they would be sharing the good with their neighbors, relatives and friends who are in need.
The drought has caused scarcity of fodder for our livestock and food shortages for our households. We are able to have the food for our children through this support and we thank ActionAid for this support.
Raaxo Sicid Dirie (41), one of the community members during the distribution in Hidinta said, “The drought has caused scarcity of fodder for our livestock and food shortages for our households. We are able to have the food for our children through this support and we thank ActionAid for this support.”
The drought has decreased the coping mechanisms of communities to a minimal as food reserves finish and purchasing power decrease with the deaths of their livestock which were an asset and income for the households. There is increase increased workload for all members especially women and children as it require distance in search of water. With the drought all normal ways of the communities have been impacted for instance school drop out has increased as children migrate with families in search of pasture for livestock and water.
We will continue to work along with the Government and likeminded organization to respond and mitigate this ongoing crisis caused by the drought.