Somalia's drought

2009-11-17 14:50
Berbera - Somali livestock farmers who have converged massively on the port of Berbera after losing all their animals said that this year's drought is the worst in ten years.

"We were in a drought for the past six months. It was very severe. We lost 50% of all our livestock. Then it rained and the rain brought other problems - disease, deaths and flooding," Berbera Governor Ahmed Abdulahi said.

"This last drought was the worst we've had in the past ten years," he said, adding that those displaced by drought, added to people displaced by fighting in south and central Somalia, represented a burden for the town.

George Tabbal, who is in charge of Unicef 's water and sanitation projects in Somaliland, says Berbera's water supply - an out-of-town system of wells and pipes dating back to the Ottoman Empire and rehabilitated by Unicef , has been adversely affected by the drought.

"There is huge pressure on the system," he said.

Temperatures in this Gulf of Aden livestock port can go beyond 50 Celsius in the hot season.

Question of life and death

"In this climate water really is a question of life and death," the Berbera governor said.

A former British protectorate, Somaliland broke away from the rump Somalia 10 months after Somali strongman Mohamed Siad Barre was ousted in 1991.

More stable and economically viable than central and southern Somalia in recent years, Somaliland is seeking international recognition as an independent state.

Weris Issa, a wizened old woman dangling a baby granddaughter on her lap in front of a health centre at Jamalaye displaced camp, came into town six months ago after she and ten other family members lost the last of their animals.

"We lost all our livestock and we came to town. We have nothing," she said.

Eighteen-year-old Qadan Aden, a baby at her breast and a toddler clinging to her skirts said her family's 40 goats all died five months earlier, as did 23 out of their 27 camels.

Urban poor

Qadan Abdi Nur, 20, lost her last goat in May of this year and was likewise obliged to come into town.

"The combination this year of drought and high food prices is driving people into malnutrition," said Unicef Deputy Executive director Hilde Frafjord Johnson on a visit to the region.

Many families interviewed said they lost their last animals in June or July.

Some families stayed behind in the grazing lands, but not because they have livestock left, rather because they survive on remittances from relatives in the diaspora.

Others lost their livestock years ago and have lived as urban poor ever since, never managing to save enough to buy more animals.

Kosar Mohamed, draped in a red veil, was forced to come into town in 1988. Three of her seven children have died of diarrhoea.

"A long time ago I lost all my animals and I came to town. But the drought now is the worst I've ever seen," she said.

- SAPA
Read more on:    somalia  |  east africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 

Inside News24

 
/Food

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Structural Engineer

Cape Town Southern Suburbs
Hi-Tech Recruitment - Johannesburg
R20 000 - R30 000 Per Month

Telemarketing Agent

Cape Town Northern Suburbs
Cozens Recruitment Group ( Western Cape)
R26 Per Hour

Design Advisor ( Kenilworth )

Cape Town Southern Suburbs
Mpumalanga Personnel & Training Consultants

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Up to 40% off fashion accessories

Save up to 40% on selected handbags, purses, watches, jewellery and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2000 on top electronics

Get every day mind bowing savings on top electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

As seen on TV - New book releases at only R199 each

Get mind blowing book savings on new titles. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to 50% on Women’s month treats!

Celebrate the awesome women in your life with awesome treats like beauty products, fashion accessories, bestselling books, electronics and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Today is a good day to network and share your ideas and thoughts with your colleagues and friends. Information overload is...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.