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Nugal pastoralists move and move again in search of water and pasture

File Photo/Ergo

(ERGO) – Mohamed Ismail Hirad reached Dangoronyo in Nugal region in search of pasture for his 100 goats at the beginning of March, after hiring a vehicle for $500 to transport him and his goats from Noodir, Bari region.

He had heard that there was pasture in Dangoronyo, which received some rainfall after cyclone Gati in December. But with pastoralists from far flung areas having also descended on Dangoronyo in the last two months, there is no pasture and very little water left.

“We are worried for our lives as we are facing food and water shortages. Our livestock have no market value as they are too weak,” said Mohamed.

Water levels have dropped in the wells leaving commercially sold water the only option. A barrel of water costs $4 in Dangoronyo and surrounding areas.

Mohamed said he has been forced to beg water from his neighbours as he cannot afford it.  He took two goats to the market to sell to buy food and water, but he did not find a buyer.

“There was a high demand when the livestock were being exported but now since COVID19 was reported there is no market,” he said.

Mohamed said he was forced to migrate after his area failed to receive the Deyr rains.  “I feared that we might not receive the Gu rains as well,” he said.

More than 4,000 pastoralist families have reached Dangoronyo in the past month. Dangoronyo mayor told Radio Ergo’s local reporter that the migration of the pastoralists and their livestock to the area have caused water and food shortages and a humanitarian crisis faces both groups.

The mayor said the authorities registered the incoming pastoralists and had informed humanitarian organisations and the interior ministry of Puntland of the needs.

Said Muse Bare migrated with his 70 goats to Eyl in Nugal a month ago hoping to find pasture. However, he is now thinking of relocating with his livestock again as there is nothing for them in Eyl. He has already migrated with his family of eight three times this year.

He said he is slaughtering a goat for his family every week, as they have no other source of income.

“We haven’t seen a situation like this where we deal with drought as well as poor market for the livestock caused by the pandemic,” said Muse. He requested urgent humanitarian assistance.



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