Farming families in Bakool region have started to leave villages that have been struck by successive seasons of poor rains and low food production and are heading towards Hudur hoping for food aid.
More than 400 farmers from at least 11 villages have moved into Hudur district looking for food, despite the fact that the surrounding roads have been ringed off by Al-Shabab forces since they lost control of the area to AMISOM and Somalia forces in March.
The villages that residents have been displaced from include Mooro gabay, Qeysar qabow, Aboore, Lugaywin, Gubad galoole, Korkor and Gubad aseyr, according to Radio Ergo’s local reporter. All of them are traditional farming areas.
Muslimo Mohamed Ahmed, a 40-year-old mother, moved with her seven children to Hudur from Mooro gabay village, because the food ran out. She said she had never been displaced before and had always been dependent on farming. “We haven’t received sufficient rains for seven successive years, but we used to survive on the food that we had in our stores,” Ahmed told Radio Ergo’s local reporter. Her family’s food stores had now run out, she said, so she and her children decided to move to the urban area of Hudur in the hope of getting aid.
Most of the displaced farmers are settling in IDP camps while some are joining their extended families in the district.
Khadijo Ali Hussein, another mother with eight children, said the farmers were moving closer to Hudur district hoping to obtain some of the assistance they had heard was being distributed by the government.
Hudur residents themselves had been facing a severe food shortage because of the al-Shabaab blockage, with supply lorries unable to get through. However, Radio Ergo’s reporter said some food aid was distributed recently after a government military convoy go through to the district.