Displaced persons in Baidoa suffer water shortage as dry season starts in parts of Somalia

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Keydk sawirrada Ergo

(ERGO) – Over 4,000 IDP families in southern Baidoa have been forced to go without water following a breakdown of the pump at the only well in the area.

An estimated 4,274 families in internally displaced people’s camp (IDP) are having to trek long distances and spend more money to get minimal amounts of water for all their needs.

Saynab Abdi Adan, 42, who lives in Hila’a camp, says she is having to buy 20 litres of water for 3,000 Somali shillings – about 25 US cents – every day from commercial truckers.

“The dry season has started already. We cannot survive. My neighbours are trekking to fetch water far away from here but I cannot go to fetch water,” she said. “We use the 20 litres of water we buy for cooking only since it’s not enough to bathe or even to wash our clothes.”

The hardships have been exacerbated by a halt in the water trucking programme funded by the international charity Save the Children.

According to Radio Ergo’s local correspondent, the price of a barrel of water sold by local businessmen has risen from $1 to $1.5.

Sa’adia Mohamed Hussein, another displaced person living in Tawakal II, carries water on her back from Baidoa Water Department, eight km away from the camp. The mother of nine said her family has to make do with 40 litres of water, as that is all she can carry.

“I go to fetch water in the morning or afternoon as we have no water in the area. Even what we bring for the family is not enough but the circumstance forces us to live with this situation,” Sa’adia told Radio Ergo.

Sa’adia, a casual worker, noted that she could afford to buy water from the commercial water trucks.

Omar Hussein, Save the Children’s Wash programme manager, confirmed the disruption of the agency’s water trucking programme. They had been providing water to 24 camps for three months before the deyr rainy season started and stopped during the rains as there was adequate water available.

“The programme works on a needs basis. We have carried out assessments and will soon resume the water trucking programme,” Omar said.

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