Somalia: Drought Emergency Plan of Action Operation update n° 4 (MDRSO005)


A. Situation analysis

Description of the disaster

Appeal history:

  • August 2015: Poor post-Gu (long rains) exacerbates drought conditions leading to reduced pasture land, water shortages, and deaths of livestock. This has increased the number of acutely food insecure people to emergency levels, with 38% of the population of Somalia acutely food insecure, and 304,700 children under five years of age acutely malnourished. Reports indicate that 4.7 million people are food insecure with an estimated 930,000 already in IPC Phase 3 (crisis) and 22,000 in Phase 4 (emergency). Without humanitarian assistance, the situation will deteriorate.

  • January 2016: Governments of Somaliland and Puntland declare the drought situation an emergency.

  • February 2016: IFRC Surge Capacity deployed to support the Somali Red Crescent Rapid Situational and Needs Assessment

  • March 2016: Emergency Appeal launched for 1,290,936 Swiss francs

  • September 8, 2016: A revision of the emergency appeal was launched seeking the same amount CHF 1,290,936 to support 78,990 beneficiaries (13,165HH) following the worsening situation and receipt of additional funds through December 2016.

  • December 30, 2016: A further revision of the emergency appeal seeking an amount of CHF 1,291,576 to support 78,990 beneficiaries (13,165HH) with food security, nutrition and livelihoods, water sanitation and hygiene promotion, non-food items (shelter) following the worsening situation through June 2017.

 February 2017: A further revision of the emergency appeal seeking the same amount CHF 1,291,576 to support 78,990 beneficiaries (13,165HH) with the reactivation of clinics done to support the health needs following the deteriorating situation through June 2017 and to recognize the critical connections highlighted in FEWSNET and IPC reports between drought and food security and nutrition. This is critical to reduce the imminent and long-term impacts that drought can have on communities.
Over the past 2 years, there have been inconsistent levels of rainfall across parts of Somalia. The Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Somalia (FSNAU) post-Deyr (short rains) 2014 Food Security and Nutrition Outlook (February – June 2015) indicated that “in the Northwest agro pastoral areas dependent on Gu/Karan rainfall for crop cultivation, received below-average Gu rains, which affected crop development.
However, this was partly compensated by average Karan rains received in August and September 2014 in Woqooyi Galbeed and Awdal Regions, which improved crop yield.” Similarly, the August 2015 Technical Release of FSNAU-FEWS NET on post-Gu (long rains) indicated that in the Northwest agro pastoral livelihood zone, poor rainfall contributed to low production prospects, with the 2015 Gu-Karan cereal harvest (OctoberNovember) estimated at only 37 percent of the 5-year average for 2010-2014. In the nearby Guban Pastoral livelihood zone, drought conditions have contributed to a severe water shortage and unusual livestock deaths.
In September 2015, there were early indications of possible food insecurity in the Somaliland territory. The Somaliland government authorities in collaboration with the United Nations Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO) have carried out an assessment (from September – December 2015), and on 5 February 2016, an alert was issued indicating the worsening drought situation – this was also followed by an alert by the Puntland government authorities to the same effect.
A state of drought was also declared in several of Puntland’s regions on the 5th February 2016, due to severe drought affecting parts of Somalia. The Puntland Government stated the drought is a severe crisis that is affecting hundreds of thousands of people across Puntland. Livestock have perished and so many people now stand on the brink of starvation.
Several Regions in Puntland and Somaliland including Bari, Karkaar, Sanaag and Sool had been hit with extensive drought that was carried over from 2015 into 2016. The numbers of food insecure populations have increased markedly following successive bouts of drought because of the combined effects of El-Nino and La-Nina. There is severe water shortages and lack of pasture in all affected areas with the availability of water reportedly classified to be quasi-zero in most of the villages. Both Puntland and Somaliland Governments issued an appeal to agencies and donors stating that there is a need to act immediately and mobilize swiftly to support these vulnerable people who have been suffering for months.
Somalia is a country prone to recurrent droughts due to irregular rainfall pattern and effects of climate change. In both Puntland and Somaliland territories, the population mostly depend on agro pastoralism and livestock, which have been affected by the drought, reducing access to food and impacting on their nutritional/health status. The farming situation has since deteriorated due to the lack of water rains that helps in cultivation. Water sources of these communities are shallow wells which most of them are damaged and need rehabilitation. There are no nearby rivers and boreholes.
The latest FEWSNET outlook states that Famine (IPC Level 5) can be expected if the 2017 Gu (April-June) season sees minimal rain, if the purchasing power continues to decline, and if humanitarian assistance does not reach populations in need.1 The January 2017 GAM reports show that most areas at impacted as serious (10%-14%) to critical (above 15%) with some of the highest levels of SAM and MAM reported in W. Galbeed, Bari, Mudug and Sanaag. 2 Both these show a need to reassess the food security and nutrition as well as the health impacts of this operation in order to most effectively address the short-term food security and nutrition impacts but also the long-term health impacts, as possible within the capacities of the operation.