Somalia Drought - Baidoa and Buur Hakaba Public Health Alert - August 2022



Somalia is currently experiencing unprecedented drought conditions following four consecutive failed rainy seasons; the worst situation in over 40 years. Prolonged drought has resulted in water sources drying up, rising water prices, and extensive loss of livestock, hampering food production and placing immense pressure on already vulnerable communities’ ability to access food and water. By July 2022, an estimated 7.1 million people are in need of food assistance across the country, with over 2.1 million people classified in Integrated Food Security Classification (IPC) Phase 4 (Emergency) and more than 200,000 people likely experiencing Phase 5 (Catastrophic) levels of food insecurity.1

Conditions are particularly concerning in Baidoa and Buur Hakaba districts where elevated malnutrition and mortality rates have surpassed emergency thresholds, alongside disease outbreaks, including cholera and measles. Findings from multiple sources indicate critical water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) situations across both districts but particularly in internally displaced person (IDP) sites hosting displaced populations from largely inaccessible areas, whose vulnerability was exacerbated due to extended periods of limited access to water and high food insecurity in their paces of origin and during displacement. Heightened physical vulnerabilities among drought-affected populations are likely driving the ongoing cholera and measles outbreaks and high incidence of diarrhoea in the district, and when coupled with poor health services environment, are likely contributing to the severe nutrition and mortality outcomes.