(ERGO) – Five villages to the east of Dhusamareb town in central Somalia’s Galgadud region have emptied as the pastoralist families living there have run out of water.
Four boreholes in the area have dried up, leaving the villages of Qansahley, LabiRaac, Aweys-Raac, Meehanaw, and Galo without any access to water for livestock or people.
Saed Ali Mire, the chief of Galo village, around 55 km from Dhusamareb, told Radio Ergo that people in the area were feeling desperate.
He said many animals had died forcing herders to flee to Dhusamareeb town or to other remote areas to try to save their livestock.
He said about 380 families from his village had moved to other places including Eldher, Beer, Abdi Farah, Gadon and Fagoy.
“The situation became very bad, the borehole dried, nobody remained here. We only come to check on our houses, people fled to different places in search of water and food,” he said.
The chief said pastoralist families from nearby villages who relied on Galo borehole for water have also been affected.
“The water shortages have affected everywhere; it’s not just this village but people in other places started crying for help, animals are dying in front of them helplessly,” the chief said.
DahirMohamudMagan is among those who left Galo village in early April.
His family now lives in Faragoy, a camp about 10km east of Dhusamareb.
Dahir brought with him 20 surviving goats from his original herd of 55.
“After the borehole dried up, the animals started dying one after another. I fled with the remaining goats and settled in this camp,” he stated.
Dahir’s family owes $1,450 to various people they borrowed from to survive while in the village.
“Hoping that it would rain, we stayed in the village. But hope faded and we ended up in debt. I am now struggling to pay back the money,” he said.
Fadumo Yusuf Mohamed, a mother of five, has been living in Beer Abdi Farah camp in Dhusamareb town for a week.
She fled AweysRaac village after losing 60 goats last month.
“After I saw that the situation was getting worse, I decided to move to the town to seek support. We were pastoralists but now we are unable to cope with this life,” she said.
She sent three of her children to stay with their paternal uncle in town, as she is alone and cannot feed them.
“My husband moved away with the 10 camels that remained in search of pasture. I am unable to feed the children so even sometimes we sleep on an empty stomach,” she said.