Somalia: Assessing internal displacement to inform urgent humanitarian response in Kismayo area
The year 2016 has seen a continued deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Somalia. Following three failed rain seasons, which aggravated the already severe drought conditions, and the Government of Kenya’s initial decision to close Dadaab, the world’s largest refugee camp hosting over 300,000 Somalis, population movements within Somalia and from Kenya have intensified throughout 2016. By October 2016, over 30,000 Somali people had already returned from Kenyaand numbers are only expected to increase. With limited understanding of movement patterns of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and returnees, the humanitarian response risks being ultimately unprepared to provide needs-based and targeted aid to affected communities.
In order to provide a better understanding of displacement patterns and inform effective service delivery in IDP settlements, REACH conducted a series of assessments in the main IDP settlements in Somalia. Kismayo was selected as the first district for this assessment due to the large number of IDPs and increase in returnees from the Daadab refugee camp. Specifically, three selected areas around Kismayo town were assessed, namely Dalxiska, Kismayo East, and Kismayo West, by carrying out over 1,200 household interviews, 75 key informant interviews, facility mapping, and spatial analysis.
The Report highlights the severity of food security in the area, with 66% of the assessed households in Dalxiska reporting a poor food consumption score. While the percentage is considerably lower in Kismayo East/West, the overall situation in the area calls for urgent action by local governments and humanitarian organizations alike. The need for improved shelter conditions in both assessed areas is also high, with 38% of the households residing in emergency or temporary shelters. Additionally, the percentage of reported damage to shelters by the household representatives in Dalxiska was as high as 49%, with 21% of the shelters reported as completely damaged.
More detailed findings from the multi-cluster needs assessment in Kisimayo are outlined in the Kismayo IDP Settlement Assessment Report.
In light of the expected increase in returnees from Dadaab and the worsening food security conditions in Somalia, REACH will continue to conduct multi sectoral needs assessments in areas hosting IDP and returnee communities. Indeed, only with a comprehensive understanding of service deliveries, population needs, as well as causes and intentions of displacement can the humanitarian response effectively support a population plagued by years of drought, conflict, and economic adversities.