Asha Barre is 80 years old from Kulmiya village in Sanaag region of Somaliland. Kulmiya is a dry and destitute village located about 50 kms north-east of Erigavo, the principle headquarter of Sanaag Region. Sanaag Region borders Puntland in the east and Gulf of Aden in the north. We got up with her on the 31 March 2016 when we distributed food in Kulmiya. Asha was easily noticeable because of her advanced age. She was among 190 beneficiaries who gathered and braved the scourging sun to collect the food rations.
In the last two years it has been challenging for her and the community because of the prolonged drought in the region. Our team requested for an interview with Asha after she received her food ration. She noted that current drought situation is the worst in recent years as far as she can recall drought patterns in the region. The persistence drought has contributed to the death of most of their livestock - the worst hit being the cattle.
Because of prolonged drought we haven’t been able to farm. ActionAid's relief food distribution response was quick and timely.
The crop production has dropped drastically because of rains have failed. “We don’t have enough water to irrigate our land”, says Asha. Her extended family livelihood solely depends upon cattle rearing and agriculture. They used to cultivate cash crops such as cabbage, pepper, tomato and potato throughout the year which generated enough food for the family. Since the agriculture production has been dropped to almost nil for past two years, Asha and her family has been relying upon support from relatives for survival. “Because of prolonged drought we haven’t been able to farm”, adds Asha. Asha lives with 20 children. Most of the children are from close relatives. She notes that the family takes only one meal per day.
Asha was thankful of the relief food she received. She noted that ActionAid's relief food distribution response was quick and timely.
ActionAid distributed food relief to 1,280 needy families in 11 communities in 3 regions in Somaliland. With support of village leaders, women leaders and partners/CBOs, ActionAid had identified the most vulnerable families in the communities.
Since 2015, Somaliland has been scraping through one of the worst droughts in years. In the drought need assessment survey conducted in December 2015, it was found that 89% families did not have food reserve and 78% of the families did not have fodder stock. More than 40% (partly family members) of villagers have migrated along with their livestock to coastal area in search of water and grasses; 35-40% of livestock had died due to scarcity of fodder, pastures and water.