(ERGO) – Pastoralists affected by the drought in many parts of Somalia are trekking long distances to look for water, food, and other assistance. One family walking from Bakool to Gedo lost two young children along their journey and had to bury them before reaching their destination.
Radio Ergo’s Luq and Dollow correspondent, Mohamoud Abdirashid Abdi, interviewed the mother of the two children, Fartun Warsame Mohamed. They were on their way from Goobito village, 86 km from Luq, after losing 16 of their 20 goats to the drought. She and her husband and their remaining four children spent five days on the road towards the end of November 2021 and are now in an IDP camp in Luq town.
Fartun: The children were sick, I fled with them hoping to take them to the hospital in the town. They were thirsty and starving. I lost a girl and a boy, I lost them on the way. One was two years old and the other one was three years old. There was no water or food to eat.
Radio Ergo: You were a pastoralist in Goobito, why did you flee the village?
Fartun: I fled the drought. I was herding goats, when I couldn’t find water and pasture for the goats, I fled from the drought to save our lives. Most of the goats died and I fled with the last four goats. I have them with me here now.
Radio Ergo: Describe for us the hardships you went through on your way to Luq and what you have seen along the way?
Fartun: We spent five days on the road, we didn’t have enough food or water, it was tough! We were not alone, there were several other people who were fleeing as well using donkey carts as transport. I transported my children using a donkey cart, but it was God’s decree that the two died. I was hoping to get them to hospital, but they died on the way. The children were vomiting, diarrhoea, and had fever. I left with hopes that they would recover once they got treatment at the hospital.
Radio Ergo: Did you get food and water when you came to Luq?
Fartun: We have nothing here. Currently, I am at an IDP camp, and we have no food, but there is water.
Radio Ergo: Do you have any other children apart from the two that died?
Fartun: Yes, I have other children, although they are suffering from starvation, otherwise they are fine. I cook for them the little I get from my Muslim brothers and sisters.
Radio Ergo: Did you get anything to cook for them today?
Fartun: I have received some little food from well-wishers today. I will cook for them tonight.
Radio Ergo: How is the situation of the other families that migrated with you?
Fartun: The people here are facing the same situation, we were all affected by the drought equally, although it is only me who lost children. We need to be assisted with food, if God gives us food, then we are fine.