Whilst drought continues in much of the country, there were many calls about rainfall on the Radio Ergo audience feedback platform this week (5-11 May 2022), as communities in some areas celebrated and expressed their hopes for recovery. However, drought and water scarcity concerned callers especially in Sanag,
Puntland, and central regions. The rainfall brought a return of locusts in a few places. Callers in parts of southern Somalia reported diseases including watery diarrhoea, malnutrition, and chikungunya. Livestock herders in Puntland, central and south were concerned by goat diseases especially CCPP. The following summarises the calls by theme.
Rainfall – callers in several parts of Togdher celebrated rainfall, with one in Daadmareen saying the water sources were now full and another in Ayn saying the pasture was growing back. One Somaliland caller said despite welcome rainfall they needed the government to stop the rise in prices. In several parts of Puntland people welcomed rain although they prayed for more. A female caller in Abaarer village said heavy rain had caused problems and they needed help. In Galgadud, callers in Adado, Abudwak, Bahdo, and Guriel said they received some rainfall and were doing better. Heavy rainfall in Beletweyne created challenges for IDPs, one caller said. A few callers in M. Shabelle said they now had water and the river was replenishing. Rain and better days were also reported by callers in Bay and Gedo.
Locusts – several callers in Puntland, Galgadud, and Gedo said rain had brought a resurgence of destructive locusts and they needed control measures.
Drought and water scarcity – in the north, a number of callers in Togdher and more especially in Sanag described prolonged drought and severe water shortage and asked for intervention by the Somaliland/Puntland governments or aid agencies. A Sanag caller said their livestock had no water or fodder and were sick and weak. Another said their children and livestock were in bad shape. In Puntland, a caller in Banderbeyla said the nearest water source was very far away. Another said their livestock were dying every day. Some in central regions spoke of continuing high temperatures. In Middle Shabelle, a female caller in El-Baraf said they needed aid to overcome the effects of the drought on the families and livestock. A caller in Beledhawo said their livelihoods had been destroyed by drought and they needed aid.
Health alerts – callers in Hudur and El-Wak reported chikungunya outbreaks in their areas and wanted help. A caller in Buhodle wanted help in treating children with measles. Callers in Baidoa said watery diarrhoea was spreading. A caller in Jowhar said their children were malnourished and sick with diarrhoea. (If any agencies want to follow up to verify these calls, we can share the phone numbers).
Conflict – a female caller in Guriel said they feared outbreak of clan conflict. A caller in Dusamareb said Al-Shabab forces had barred people from accessing the borehole and they needed protection.
(NOTE: the Radio Ergo call-in platform is independently run and is free of charge for anyone across Somalia to call in and leave recorded voice message. The Ergo team follows up on some calls journalistically for its reporting. Other calls are used in Ergo’s agriculture, livestock, health and other programmes, where experts respond to listeners’ questions).