Families hit by drought in northern Somalia pour into village near Burao

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Carruur ku sugan xero dadka barakacay/Sawir keyd/Ergo

(ERGO) – Close to 150 drought-displaced families in Burao town in northern Somalia’s Togdheer region are facing hunger and lack access to basic services.

Local officials said the pastoralist families uprooted from their homes are now camping in Dudub-dilo village, 180km east of Burao town.

Mohamed Ahmed Hassan, Dudub-dilo chief, told Radio Ergo that the village was struggling to cope with the influx of people.

“The village witnessed a massive arrival of people heralding a new humanitarian crisis. They are facing an acute food shortage, and they are yet to receive assistance,” Mohamed said.

Asho Hirsi Dahir, a mother of eight children, arrived in Dudub-dilo village on 14 January after a severe drought hit her village.

She told Radio Ergo that she had 34 goats which used to provide adequate milk for her children, but most of her goats died in the drought.

“Right now, I have no water and food and furthermore this area has no health post. Today, I was only able to cook a small amount of rice for the children which I got from a neighbouring family,” she said.

Amino Suleiman, a mother of seven, also who came to Dudub-dilo in desperation.  Amino and her family live with a relative in the village where they share the food of the host family.

“The first thing we need is water. I have 15 goats which survived but they are dying of lack of water.  Another problem is that there are no jobs in the town,” Amino said.

According to the chief, the village had already been hosting 280 other displaced families prior to this new arrival.

“The local administration officials are trying their best to support these families, but some issues are beyond our capacity and need external intervention, so we call upon the aid agencies to come in support of these people,” he urged.

The village has a severe water shortage with residents having to trek 150km to reach the nearest source of water.

“The villagers pay $400 for water from a tanker whose capacity is only 30 barrels. The tanker carrying 40 barrels costs $550 and this is unaffordable,” said Mohamed. “The situation of these people could turn tragic anytime.”

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