(ERGO) – Large numbers of people have been displaced and livestock have died in severe drought conditions being witnessed in part of Bakool regionin Somalia’s South West state.
The local authorities in Qurajome, in the north-eastern part of Elbarde district, say the situation is deteriorating as the rains have failed consecutively.
Qurajomechief, Abdi Fatah Sheikh Mohamud, told Radio Ergo by phone that a team of officials had visited the affected areas to assess the situation and what they saw was very concerning.
He listed the areas worst affected asSiga, Dhagahtur, Elkuusaw, Ahmed-Koray, Adan-Komad, Abeesale, Igay, Dhalosha and Burgabo villages, across a wide part of the district close to the Ethiopian border.
Mohamud said he saw many animals that had died due to lack of water and fodder and the people who remained were struggling.
“We visited the affected areas on 10th April and we witnessed a deteriorating situation. Most peoplehave moved out of their villages with some left on the brink of death.Animal carcasses are scattered everywhere,”he said.
According to Mohamud, a total of 18 boreholes in these villages have dried up following consecutive seasons of drought. Most of the families living in the area have migrated over the border into Ethiopia in search of water.
The chief of Siga, Mohamed AbdullahiNur, said that 220 families from his village have moved away because there is no water.
“The sun is overhead, people have no water and food, the livestock started dying one after another,”the chief told Radio Ergo’s regional reporter by phone.
Nur’s own family has gone to Ethiopia to find water.
“I am the only member of my family remaining here with a few other families. The only borehole in the village has dried up because it hasn’t rained for years,” he said.
Habibo Abdi Ali, who lives in Sansay village, 40km from Qurajome town,told Radio Ergo that she lost eight of her 15 animals leaving her worried about the fate of the remaining ones.
She said her hope to get pasture and water for the livestock has been ebbing awayfor thelast four years of consecutive rain failure.
“We cannot afford to buy water from tankers. It costs three dollars for a 20 litrecontainer of water – I have no money so we are going to die of thirst,” she said.
Isack Ali Kakow in Dhagatur village said he lost 30 animals forcing him to reach the decision to move with the remaining livestock to another area.
“People are weakened by the drought, those who are able to go on foot from this area have opted to go somewhere else. Those with livestock moved to Ethiopia to save them. We are suffering, may god shower us with his mercy,” he said.