Mogadishu 25 April: CARE is calling for urgent humanitarian support to save thousands of lives in Somalia. The plea comes as the humanitarian leadership in the country has declared the current dry conditions as a drought situation. Below average rainfall is expected in the country this season further exacerbating the severe water shortages that are being experienced. According to UNOCHA at least 3.4 million people are projected to be affected by the drought conditions by the end of 2021 of whom 380,000 are expected to be displaced.
Iman Abdullahi- CARE Somalia/Somaliland Country Director said:
The humanitarian situation in the country is dire as dry conditions have escalated to a drought villages have completely run out of water and are now relying on humanitarian agencies to support through water trucking which is not adequate to meet the need. Our teams on the ground have witnessed communities drinking contaminated water putting them at risk of waterborne diseases, families have already taken their children to other relatives so as to spread the load. Some parents have told us that they have already started to go for a whole day without drinking any water as they are choosing to give the little water available to the children.
Women are disproportionally affected by the drought. With many families struggling to put food on the table, many girls will be forced out of school as the families cannot afford to pay school fees, we fear that more girls will be married off early as families look for ways to cope with the current harsh economic conditions. As more water points dry up, women and girls will be forced to walk long distances to collect water putting them at risk of GBV”.
Mariam, a mother of two from Jariban district which is one of the areas worst affected by the drought said:
This Ramadan, the only thing I am praying for is rain, things have become so difficult, all the water basins in our village have dried up and without water trucking support we are receiving we would have to walk 50km to the nearest water point. I have lost some of my livestock due to lack of pasture and I don’t know how I will provide for my family if we do not receive rains soon.”
The drought conditions come as the Somalia Humanitarian Response Plan is only 15% funded, CARE is calling for donors and stakeholders to step up their support in order to prevent a catastrophe in the country. The situation is dire and requires everyone to come together and support the Somali population, CARE is also calling upon the country’s leadership to put all efforts towards resolving the humanitarian situation in the country.
For More Information:
Senior Press Officer – Rachel.Kent@care.org