Key mission findings:
• Since the last mission on 29 March, the District Commissioner and community elders reported that 6,000 people had returned to Waajid town. This was attributed to good rains that were received within the 15 km radius of the town which attracted agro-pastoralists looking for pasture for their livestock. AMISOM/SNAF also cleared AS checkpoints within the 15-40km radius.
• Availability of food remains a challenge. The DC and community elders informed that cereal supplies mainly sorghum are smuggled to Waajid by use of donkey carts.
• The presence of agro-pastoralists with their livestock in town has benefitted the community to have access to milk and meat. According to a key informant, milk prices are relatively cheaper in Waajid, one “shod” of milk costs 5,000-6,000 Somali shilling while in Xudur it costs 15,000-17,000 Somali shilling.
• The market is not functioning well with few commodities and high prices. DC and community leaders noted that the prices of 1 kg sugar and rice had increased from 1US$ to 3US$. Without intervention, this will lead to increased cases of acute malnutrition especially amongst the vulnerable children and women.
• Price of imported rice in April was 23,875 Somali shilling and has risen by 151 per cent to 60,000 Somali shilling
• The District Commissioner acknowledged receiving medical and WASH supplies from WHO and UNICEF and this was the only response in Waajid since the last mission.
• Health services provided at the only MCH facility in town are run by volunteering staff of ARD. There are 3 nurses, one dispensary technician and no midwifes. Local authority mentioned a doctor which the mission did not manage to meet
• The ARD operates the MCH and is supported by WHO for medical supplies, UNICEF and WFP are planning to support OTP and TSFP respectively.
• The MCH attends 60-70 patients per day, main diseases include watery diarrhoea (20 per cent are adults and 80 per cent are under 5s). A visit to the MCH run by ARD confirmed that 163 AWD and 43 bloody diarrhoea cases were reported in April alone.
• The DC and community elders reported high levels of malnutrition. This was confirmed during the visit to the MCH where the OTP list indicated up to 15 children under the age of five recorded with MUAC measurements of less than 11.5cm, an indication that they are severely malnourished.
• The mine field at Waajid airstrip was confirmed safe after AMISOM troops conducted area verification. However, some antipersonnel mines have been identified in some areas around Waajid as reported by SNAF.
• Out of the three schools in Waajid, only one is operational. The DC reported 1,000 school aged children in Waajid and out of this, only 400 are attending school. There is lack of learning and teaching materials. Of the 25 teachers, only 7 are present.
• According to the DC, 4 NGOs (ARD, Waajid WASH Committee, New ways and ELGEDO) are registered in Waajid. ARD and ELGEDO are currently operational.
• Female headed households are the most vulnerable group, DC and community elders estimated the group between 20-40 per cent. Early marriage is reportedly very high.
• World Vision International is planning to open its offices in Waajid. The team met WVI Operations Director who was on an assessment mission. They plan to implement health, nutrition and education projects.
• Food, nutrition, health, sanitation and education remain prioritized needs.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.