More than 220 families are facing a severe water shortage in Hassan Tikato village, 15 km west of Guriel.
This village is among several in Galgadud region hosting displaced families who have fled from conflict in Guriel between Somali government forces and the moderate Islamist group, Ahlu Sunna Waljama’a.
Mohamed Salad, one of the displaced people in Hassan Tikato, said: “I have been in this village as an IDP for 15 days. We were about 20 families who initially arrived here, but after other clashes that occurred this week, another 200 displaced families joined us. The biggest problem facing us now is lack of water. The only water source in the village was reservoirs, but they have dried up.”
Dahabo Farah Sheikh, a mother of seven, who also fled from Guriel, said the lack of water was critical.
“As we were on verge of dying of thirst, Hormud [telecommunications company] brought a water tank and distributed water among us. In fact, we cannot stay like this and we call upon the warring sides to stop the fighting and allow us to return to our homes, so that our children won’t die of thirst!” she said.
Halima Kulan, an elderly woman, said people slept under the trees as they had no shelter. Some women had given birth in the camps without getting any medical care.
She said some of the affected families had moved on to Elbaraf, Dahir site, Foley, Sallah Dadab near Guriel and areas near Mataban in Hiran region.
Those in Hassan Tikato also reported outbreaks of disease related to poor sanitation, including skin disease among the children.
A ceasefire was proposed on 26 February by local businessmen and traditional elders. Efforts are ongoing to end the hostilities and bring a peaceful settlement.