(ERGO) – At least 4,000 families in Dhusamareeb in central Somalia are facing acute water shortage after the borehole that has been serving the area for about 30 years collapsed.
Drilled in 1986 by the Siad Barre government, the borehole caved in, forcing thousands of families in Gabon village east of Dhusamareeb to trek long distances and spend lots of money to access water for their daily needs.
Efforts have been made by the local community to repair the borehole, which collapsed last November, but they were not able to manage.
Local elder Abdi Mohamed, who has lived in the village for over 50 years, told Radio Ergo that the residents in the area are tired of repairing and re-digging the well.
“We have been facing this problem for a long time and we used to survive with the little water we had, the matter is now out of hand,” Abdi said.
Abdi and the families of his three sons are now paying $250 a month to buy water from commercial water tankers.
“We cannot afford to pay this amount every month and at the same time, we cannot move from this area because this is where we were born and grew up. We have no water for the families and the livestock,” he explained.
Abdi Ahmed, the area chief, says the local administration in collaboration with well-wishers have tried and failed to dig two other boreholes.
“We think this is as a result of the high pressure of the water where the area and the soil is sandy. They subsequently collapsed,” said Ahmed.
The chief called for immediate water trucking by the authorities to save lives before the situation turns into a crisis.
“The village is vast and 35 other localities have been depending on this well but the families in all those areas and the village are facing acute water shortage,” he said.
Residents are trekking at least 40 km from Gabon village to reach Dhusamareeb town to get water.
“Apart from this village, people in other areas also walk for 100 km to Dhusamareeb town to get water and this has worsened the situation because it takes days to get water,” he stated.
Fadumo Ali Hashi, who lives in Galo locality under Gabon village, says her family and nine others each contribute $25 for 60 barrels of water from water tankers.