11 die of starvation and thirst in western SomalilandPhoto | Dad soo barakacay oo quudin saf ugu jira/sawir/keyd
Eleven people have died of starvation and thirst in western parts of Somaliland, where there has been a biting drought in the past three months, according to Somaliland Disaster Management Agency.
Head of the agency, Mohamed Muse Awal, said nine people died of starvation and dehydration in Selel region, which is among the areas hardest-hit by drought. Three others died in remote Bali-gubadle and Salahley villages south of Hargeisa.
The drought has had a heavy impact on pastoralists and farmers in Selel, Awdal and Gebiley regions, which have not received enough rainfall in the past two years.
Climate change, deforestation and limited water catchments in the affected areas also led to the aggravation of the drought, Mohamed said.
Selel regional commissioner, Abdirzack Waaberi Roble, told Radio Ergo that pastoralists were leaving their homes in search of water and pasture for their animals, while some herders who had lost their livestock were also leaving for major towns.
“The number of livestock dying as a result of the drought is countless, with animal carcasses lying scattered everywhere,” said Abdirizack. He mentioned the case of a pastoralist family owning over 300 livestock before the drought, and now left with only 30 animals. They had been forced to flee to the town.
Abdullahi Mohamed Farah is among hundreds of pastoralists displaced from Selel region to Hawd region. He moved there thinking he would get water and pasture for his livestock. But so many herders have flocked to the area also looking for water and pasture that resources have been depleted.
Abdullahi said he had lost 80 of his livestock to the drought and remained with only 150 animals. He complained there was a water shortage with pans and water reservoirs all dry in the areas.
“I’m in Baligubadle, we don’t have a single drop of water,” he said.
The drought has also badly affected the farming community in Gebiley. Farmers did not plant and harvest this year after successive failures of rain.
Abdirahman Quulle, a spokesman for the farmers in Ijara area, told Radio Ergo that about 1,200 farming families were facing an acute food shortage after exhausting their food stocks. He said these families depended on their crops for their livelihoods and they would harvest nothing this year.