Somalia: Drought Response - Situation Report No. 7 (as of 9 May 2017)

from UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Published on 09 May 2017


  • UNICEF projects that the number of children who are or will be acutely malnourished has gone up by 50 per cent since the beginning of the year to 1.4 million, including over 275,000 who have or will suffer life-threatening severe acute malnutrition in 2017.

  • An estimated 680,000 people have been displaced due to drought since November 2016. Approximately 7,000 people have crossed into neighbouring Ethiopia and Kenya.

  • Major disease outbreaks are spreading, with more than 36,066 cases of AWD/cholera and 7,031 suspected cases of measles since the beginning of the year. Acute malnutrition is increasing in most parts of the country, increasing the risk of disease.

  • WHO and the Federal Ministry of Health of Somalia launched the first round of a preventative oral cholera vaccination campaign on 3 May in Baidoa, targeting 224, 000 persons aged 1 year and older.

  • The first round of an emergency livestock treatment campaign has concluded, reaching nearly 8.4 million animals since March 2017. A second round has begun, aiming to treat an additional 12.7 million animals.

  • Moderate to heavy rainfall has been recorded in parts of the country, as well as in the Ethiopian highlands. Riverine flooding has been reported in Middle reaches of the Shabelle River due to existing open river banks and weak river embankments.

Situation Overview

The humanitarian situation continues to worsen Acute malnutrition is on the rise, increasing the risk of diseases.
UNICEF estimates that 1.4 million children are or will be acutely malnourished, including over 275,000 who have or will suffer life-threatening severe acute malnutrition in 2017. Nearly 40,000 children have stopped attending classes due to the drought. Of the 6.2 million people in need of humanitarian assistance, more than 1.5 million are women of child-bearing age and nearly 130,000 pregnant women may require urgent care. Protection needs remain critical for the most vulnerable groups especially women, children, persons with disabilities, the elderly and minority communities. The increase in drought and conflict-related displacement, as well as stress migration induced by forced evictions, is raising protection needs. Grave violations against women and girls children are on the rise, particularly in areas with high concentration of newly displaced persons such as Baidoa and Mogadishu.

According to the FAO-managed Somalia Water and Land Information Management (SWALIM), rainfall activities intensified in many parts of the country over the last three days. Flash floods were reported in some places including Bari, Bay, Mudug and Nugaal regions following the heavy rains. The rains are expected to continue in most parts of the country in the next seven days, but with less magnitude. The Ethiopian highlands are also expected to continue receiving rains during the same period. This will in turn lead to increased river levels along the Juba and Shabelle Rivers. In the past week, humanitarian partners reported that some 30 commercial trucks were stuck along supply corridors due to the rains.

Some supply routes have been rendered impassable by the rains and sudden flash floods.
A slight decrease in the number of new Acute Watery Diarrhea/cholera cases and deaths was recorded – 3,475 cases and 43 deaths were reported in week 17 compared to 3,356 cases and 60 deaths in week 16. Of these, 897 cases were reported from Buhodle district, Togdheer Togdher region which represents 26 per cent of the total cases. Overall, some 36,066 cases of AWD/Cholera cases and 697 related deaths have been recorded since the start of 2017. AWD/cholera case fatality rates are higher in areas that are not accessible particularly in South West State (Bay, Bakol and Lower Shabelle regions), as well as Middle Juba and Gedo regions of Jubbaland.

Cases of measles continue to rise across Somalia. A total of 7, 031 cases have been reported as of 7 May. This is an increase of 685 cases compared to the previous week. Of the reported cases, 65 per cent are children under age 5. Banadir (1775) and Togdheer (1319) have reported the largest number of cases this year.

Massive drought-related displacement continues across Somalia, with most of the displaced people moving from rural to urban areas or other rural areas. According to the UNHCR-led Protection and Return Monitoring Network (PRMN) more than 680,000 people have been displaced by drought since November 2016. In the last week, a total of 63 people crossed into Dollo Addo town of Ethiopia. Nearly 420 people were displaced from Xarardheere district to Cadaado town as a result of forced child recruitment and heavy taxation by non-state armed actors.

Approximately 2,700 Somali refugees in Dollo Addo Refugee camp in Ethiopia reportedly returned to Doolow town in Somalia to access to cash assistance. Overall, most of the drought-triggered displacements in 2017 have arrived in Baidoa (Bay region), Mogadishu (Banadir), Gaalkacyo (Mudug), Belet Weyne (Hiraan), and Buuhoodle (Togdheer). Approximately 7,000 people have crossed into neighbouring Ethiopia and Kenya.

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