Famine in Somalia: ADRA Continues its Response
SILVER SPRING, Md. - Four months have passed since famine was first declared in Somalia. As the pictures coming out of the drought-stricken country show, the situation is distressing and aid remains desperately needed to avert human catastrophe. According to the United Nations, more than four million Somalis are living in famine zones, with 750,000 at risk of starvation over the next few months. The lingering drought has been made worse by decades of war, high food prices, and local militants blocking foreign aid to those who need it most.
Before famine was declared in the country, ADRA was on the ground implementing emergency interventions in Somaliland and Puntland. Through the network-funded intervention, Puntland Emergency Drought Response Project (PUDER), ADRA is providing supplies of emergency water to an estimated eight thousand people from seven villages in the Nugal Region of Puntland.
ADRA Somalia's team recently spoke with Abdikareem Nur, the WASH (water, sanitation, and hygiene) Chairman of one of the beneficiary villages. During the interview, Nur shared how ADRA's presence has improved the condition of living within his community.
"Reebanti village seems to have borne the brunt of the harsh drought. It would have been worse had it not been for the fact that we had stored enough water in the two existing berkads in the village, and were also lucky to be one of the recipients of the water trucking initiative by ADRA. This has greatly helped our village survive through the hardest of times and we hope and pray that the expected rains will be enough this time round."
According to Nur, not only have many livestock deaths been averted as a result of the improved water supply, but the village has taken steps to better prepare themselves for future droughts by digging two large water catchments, and are in the process of mobilizing funds to construct three additional berkads. "Thank you ADRA for coming to our village's assistance during this harsh time", Nur concluded.
Moving further east towards Mudug Region, the ADRA assessment team met with the Head of Gowlalo Village, Osman Abdi Farrah. Through two ongoing ADRA Switzerland/Swiss Solidarity funded interventions, the village, which has over 400 households, has recently benefitted from the rehabilitation of a previously non-functioning borehole. Mr. Farrah explained his community has greatly benefitted from the rehabilitation, as members of his village no longer have to trek long distances in search of water. Livestock in the community continue to be in good health, which offers tremendous relief to members of the village who heavily rely on their livestock for economic security. Farrah explained that this can be attributed in part to the availability of water, which ADRA has contributed in providing. The intervention aims to strengthen community resiliency to a portion of the drought- affected population in Puntland and Galmudug Region of Central Somalia. This is being fulfilled by increasing access to safe water and improving IDP (internally displaced person) conditions through provisions of NFIs (non food items). To date, this intervention has benefitted more than 900 households, and it is predicted that 19,000 beneficiaries will be reached by project end.
ADRA has also carried out food distribution exercises targeting IDPs in the Galmudug Region. Through an ADRA Austria funded intervention, food rations consisting of but not limited to rice, beans, and vegetable oil have been provided to approximately 370 IDP families. Through this intervention, reprieve has been brought to women, children and the elderly who have endured the greatest burden of the famine.
Projects are also underway in Banadir, one of the most severely affected regions in Somalia, and are focusing on water trucking, food and NFI distributions, and school feeding activities.
To send your contribution to ADRA's Emergency Response Fund, please contact ADRA at 1.800.424.ADRA (2372) or give online at www.adra.org
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ADRA is a global non-governmental organization providing sustainable community development and disaster relief without regard to political or religious association, age, gender, race or ethnicity.
For more information about ADRA, visit www.adra.org
Author: ADRA Somalia/Christina Zaiback, ADRA International