(ERGO) – Over 4,000 families displaced by drought have arrived in Baidoa town since the beginning of the year.
The families, who were pastoralists and farmers, fled from Ufurow, Gof-gadud Shebelow, Hawen, Idale, Misir, Buray, Gof-gadud Burey, Mora-gabay, El-garas villages in districts bordering the South West state capital, Baidoa.
Bay regional authorities have set up 20 new camps for the families, according to Baidoa District Commissioner, Abdullahi Ali Watin.
“The number of IDPs arriving in Baidoa town increase by the day and the town was already hosting 371 camps,” said Watin. “The newly arrived families have no drinking water and food.”
According to Watin, the local authorities held talks with aid agencies over the fate of the IDPs, noting that agencies pledged to intervene.
Amina Mohamed Gurow left Gof-gadud Shebelow village, 30 km east of Baidoa, after the crops on her farm failed due to lack of rainfall.
Amina and nine members of her family walked for 10 hours to reach the town. For the last two weeks, she has been living with relatives in Bula-Gumarey camp.
“We were 14 families who left the village at the same time. We are all living with relatives who themselves are IDPs. We only get one meal a day which is porridge,” Amina said.
According to the authorities and the IDPs, the new camps have no water, forcing the residents to trek 11 km to fetch water in jerry cans on their backs. They buy 20 litres of water for 5,000 shillings ($0.20) from the well.
Hawo Moalim Ibrahim and her seven children fled from Kerow, 25 km south of Baidoa, after severe water shortages hit the village.
She told Radio Ergo that crops on her farm failed due to lack of rain forcing her and her neighbours to move to Baidoa town to seek support.
“Few people remained in the village as there is no food and water because of the drought,” she said.
According to Hawa, farms in Kerow have failed to produce crops for the last four seasons due to lack of rain.
Mohamed Abdi Gurow, the chairperson of Bula-Gumuray camp, says conditions in the camp have deteriorated as most families are now hosting newly arrived relatives from Bay and Bakool region. He asked aid agencies to assist.