Families leave Lego in search of water

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Keydka sawirrada/Cabdiraxmaan Xaaji/Ergo Photo | File photo/Abdirahman Haji/Ergo/

Cabdiraxmaan Taysiir 22 January, 2016 SHABELLADA HOOSE


(ERGO) - Some 45 families have moved away from Lego over the past two weeks to Wanlaweyn, 45 kms away, due to a water shortage.

The four water dams in Lego have dried up and the area has no wells.

The displaced families, who are pastoralists, have reached Wanlaweyn and surrounding villages including Yaaqbari-weyne and Belli-doogle where there are wells.

Lower Shabelle, especially the riverine areas, received high rainfall last autumn. But Lego is usually a dry place and people are complaining of hardship and livestock losses.

The commissioner of Lego, Abukar Abdullahi Ishaq, told Radio Ergo 280 head of goats and cattle had already died as a result of lack of water.

Local people in Lego say they can’t last much longer without help. “We have been affected by an increasing water shortage in the last 20 days and we are afraid we could die of thirst if this continues!” Halimo Nagaar Ali told Radio Ergo. She had already seen 11 of her goats die.

Ali Issa Muhumed in Lego told Radio Ergo he had lost 30 cows. “There has always been a shortage of water in this area, but it has turned out to be the worst this time,” Ali said.

Businessmen are trucking water from Wanlaweyn but most people in Lego say they cannot afford the prices.   

Halimo said she could only afford to buy a 20 litre jerry can of water for 10,000 Somali shillings (about half a dollar) from time to time, so she eked out the water for as long as possible.

“A poor person may get food but may miss water for cooking,” said the commissioner.  

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