Somalia’s National Disaster Agency has warned of a worsening drought and food security situation in five regions in the country’s south. Mohamud Sheikh Hassan, head of the agency’s Drought Assessment and Evaluation, said the communities in Gedo, Galgaduud, Hiran, Lower Shabelle and Bakool regions were facing extreme water and food shortages threatening their lives and livelihoods.
The worst affected are pastoralist communities living in rural areas, who haven’t received sufficient rainfall in recent years, Hassan said. The water pans, boreholes and other sources of water have all already dried up. Radio Ergo correspondents report that pastoralist communities have been moving to urban areas to get closer to water sources. Farming families are also fleeing from their homes in Bay, Bakool, Lower Shabelle and Hiran regions, which are known as agro-pastoralist areas, due to successive seasons of poor rains and low food production.
“The situation could get worse if the drought is not quickly addressed,” Hassan told Radio Ergo’s local reporter in Mogadishu. The conflicts and al-Shabaab blockade, he noted, are worsening the conditions of residents in many of the regions in southern Somalia. “The aid agencies should act fast to avoid a return to the 2011-2012 drought and famine,” Hassan said.