Somalia

Somalia: FSAU Dec 1999 Report - Special Alert

Source
Posted
Originally published


During December, hundreds of very weak families have been arriving in Huddur, WAjid and Rabdure towns from surrounding rural areas. A recent mission to the Bakool region has confirmed that agro-pastoral families have reached the end of their coping abilities. IDPs from this area have already been reported in Baydhaba and Luuq, confirming the seriousness of the situation. This group is now in need of immediate assistance, but are, at the same time, very difficult to target (see November highlights).
Summary

NOTE: Light to heavy (above normal) rains were received in the first dekad of December throughout much of southern Somalia. Bakool and eastern parts of Bay (e.g. Burhakaba) were the major exceptions, where little rain fell. Heaviest rains occurred in Middle and Lower Juba as well as localized areas of Lower Shabelle. Along with the good rains of mid to late November, rainfed crops have significantly benefited from these December rains. Small areas of flooding were reported in some riverine areas, however, damage was insignificant and re-planting will occur. Water availability and pasture have both improved significantly in all areas where rains fell.

As reflected in the recent FSAU Food Needs estimates for Somalia, vulnerability due to food insecurity is concentrated in Bakool, Gedo and Bay (particularly Burhakaba district) regions. In Bakool, emergency conditions are acute with a majority of the population being affected, and where targeting and access has been difficult. In Bay and Gedo, the food insecurity situation is less acute with a smaller proportion of the population affected. In central Somalia, most eastern areas of Galgadud and Mudug regions received light rainfall during the first dekad of December and food security concerns are diminishing, as a result of the good deyr season to date. However, localized problems are being reported.

Northwestern and northeastern regions remained seasonally dry throughout December, with the exception of the eastern Bari region. There are reports of influxes of people and livestock from Region V, Ethiopia into Northwestern areas, in view of the very dry conditions being reported. Poor pastoralists from the Hawd region, areas that border Ethiopia (Sool and Toghdeer) continue to be food insecure. FSAU flashes and presentations, describing in detail the forecast for the deyr cropping season and an explanation of the food needs, are available from the FSAU.

Bakool

Inadequate deyr rainfall has resulted in a lack of water, wild foods, pasture and a complete crop failure. Limited rainfall slightly improved the livestock condition, except for cattle, in the pastoral zone, but the food security situation is seriously deteriorating in the agro-pastoral zone. There are serious water shortages throughout the region, particularly in villages surrounding Hudur, Wajid, Rabdure and El Berde towns. There are unseasonal, above normal, population movements toward the main villages and district centers, particularly from areas experiencing a combination of water shortages, and pasture and crop failure. The condition of the IDPs is very weak and reports of human death, especially of children, have been confirmed. Cattle conditions are below normal as a result of poor grazing and water shortages in the pastoral zone. Overall, apart from some ratoons in a few isolated areas, no crops were reported to be standing. Wild foods, that are rain dependent, are no longer available; only the Dikdik meat is available. Self-employment activities have increased to above normal in the main urban towns. However, the daily income from self-employment activities is not even enough for one meal per day. Locally produced cereals are in short supply and food aid has not been distributed for the last three months. Cereal prices are above normal; purchasing power is low resulting in severe food shortages at the household level. This has adversely affected the malnutrition rate, particularly among children under five years of age. Visible signs of starvation are seen in the faces of a growing number of people, who are unable to meet their consumption needs. Many people, especially IDPs, have already lost their assets and have become destitute. (see Bakool)

Gedo

Deyr rains were received very late in November and early December. Southern parts of the region received the better rains, whereas shorter and more localized rainfall was received in other areas. Rainfed crops were established late and are in poor condition. Livestock conditions have recovered in some parts, particularly Bardera and El Wak, while in other areas (e.g. Burdubo and Garbaharey) livestock have moved towards neighboring districts. (see Gedo)

Bay

Rains were mainly received in southwest parts of Dinsor. However, water availability is normal. Early planted crops are in flowering stages, while late-planted crops are in growing stages and would soon require additional moisture. Livestock conditions are normal. Job opportunities are decreasing, as most agricultural work has now finished. Food stocks are low and prices are high this month, in part due to the long distance travel necessary between the region and the Lower and Middle Shabelle regions. The health and nutrition of poor and very poor households is reported to be poor, due to few good income opportunities. Security has been normal. (see Bay)

Hiran

In late November and early December, poor to normal rainfall, which was uniformly distributed, was received in most parts of the region. Water, pasture and grazing are normal in pastoral areas. The cattle have started to recover body weight. (see Hiran)

Middle Shabelle Valley

Good rainfall has been received during the 1st and 2nd dekad of the month. The distribution was uniform and good. The total amount received in Jowhar was 76mm in 5 rainy days, which is four times higher than the monthly average. Pasture and water availability has improved in the pastoral and agro-pastoral areas, due to rains received in the first and second dekad of the month. Similarly livestock condition, in terms of milk and meat, also improved. No outbreak of diseases is reported, although lack of veterinary drugs to treat commonly transmitted diseases is the main constraint, as pointed out by animal herders. Crop conditions in the irrigated, as well as the rainfed areas, is fairly good. December rains have improved the hopeless condition of the rainfed crops, which is now promising. In particular, sorghum crops are in good condition after receiving late deyr rains. Sesame crops are doing well. The river level dropped during the month. Most basic foods are available in the main local markets. The supply of maize and cowpea is normal, while sorghum is scarce. Retail prices of maize and sorghum remain the same as last month’s level, while cowpea prices decreased due to a high supply from the new harvest. (see Middle Shabelle)

Lower Shabelle Valley

Rains were above normal during the month, concentrated in the first 10 days. Water availability is, therefore, good throughout the region. Water catchments are full. Pasture and grazing and, therefore, animal condition and production have all been improving significantly. Due to heave rains, some damage was caused to irrigated crops, while rain-fed conditions dramatically improved. Household cereal stocks are poor in the rainfed areas. The price of maize has been falling during the month. The late deyr rains have improved prospects for the deyr cropping season. (see Lower Shabelle)

Cowpea Belt

Pasture, water availability and animal production all continue to improve due to rains received over the last 2 months. Cowpea harvesting has also resulted in a 50% reduction in cowpea prices. In general, food security, cereal supply, animal, and crop conditions are normal. There are positive expectations, though problems remain in localized settlements. (see Cowpea)

Juba Valley

Good rains in early December, throughout the region, are facilitating positive conditions for both livestock and crops in most areas. Badhade and Sakow are the two areas reporting problems, with poor rainfed conditions and low household cereal stocks, as well as an outbreak of a tick borne disease affecting cattle in Badhade. Maize prices are also above normal in northern and inland areas, away from the dheshek producing areas. (see Juba Valley)

Somaliland - East

During December, as is normal, no rains were received in all of the eastern regions. However, the food security situation remains normal for all food economy groups, with the exception of the poor pastoralists of the Haud ecological zone. These households are selling their productive assests (breeding and pack animals) in order to meet food needs - their dire situation has been highlighted in previous FSAU flashes and highlights. (see Somaliland-east)

Somaliland - West

As reported in the previous month, and elaborated upon in this update, food security conditions for virtually all food economy groups are good. In particular, the dramatic seasonal (Ramadan) increases in remittances during the month and the strength of the Somaliland shilling make purchasing power strong. Notable events that may affect this positive outlook over time are: large movements into Somaliland of pastoral herds, particularly camels, from the Somali region of Ethiopia, which is experiencing severe dry conditions; and, increasing numbers of displaced and migrants from southern Somalia and Ethiopia. Both of these events will put additional pressure on host communities and resources over time. (see Somaliland-west)

Bakool

GENERAL SITUATION

Inadequate deyr rainfall has resulted in a lack of water, wild foods, pasture and a complete crop failure. Limited rainfall slightly improved the livestock condition, except for cattle, in the pastoral zone, but the food security situation is seriously deteriorating in the agro-pastoral zone. There are serious water shortages throughout the region, particularly in villages surrounding Hudur, Wajid, Rabdure and El Berde towns. There are unseasonal, above normal, population movements toward the main villages and district centers, particularly from areas experiencing a combination of water shortages, and pasture and crop failure. The condition of the IDPs is very weak and reports of human death, especially of children, have been confirmed. Cattle conditions are below normal as a result of poor grazing and water shortages in the pastoral zone. Overall, apart from some ratoons in a few isolated areas, no crops were reported to be standing. Wild foods, that are rain dependent, are no longer available; only the Dikdik meat is available. Self-employment activities have increased to above normal in the main urban towns. However, the daily income from self-employment activities is not even enough for one meal per day. Locally produced cereals are in short supply. Cereal prices are above normal; purchasing power is low resulting in severe food shortages at the household level. This has adversely affected the malnutrition rate, particularly among children under five years of age. Visible signs of starvation are seen in the faces of a growing number of people, who are unable to meet their consumption needs. Many people, especially IDPs, have already lost their assets and have become destitute.

Rainfall

No rains were received during the month of December. Expectations for further rainfall decreased in accordance with farmers’ local forecasts, as the weather turned cold at night and windy during the day with no favourable cloud cover.

Water Availability

Significant water shortages were reported throughout the region, particularly in Hudur, Wajid, Rabdure, and El Berde, along the Ethiopian border. A large number of families have evacuated from areas that are dependent upon rain-water catchments and areas with boreholes because none of the boreholes are functioning properly. The price of water is very high.

Food Security and Coping Mechanisms

Serious food insecurity was reported, as well as reports of final coping mechanisms being applied, particularly among the IDP’s in Huddur. There were no reports of household food stocks, as a result of the previous consecutive crop failures and a lack of alternative food sources, such as wild food, premature cowpea and water melons; due to lack of rains - as well as agricultural job opportunities. No food was distributed in December.

Livestock

Overall, livestock condition was below normal, particularly for cattle, due to the lack of grazing and availability of water in the pastoral zone. The price of cattle was very low. In terms of trade, goat export quality/maize is still very favourable, but the supply is very low. No outbreak of diseases has been reported.

Crops

With the exception of a few ratoons from the Gu, which were affected by moisture stress in the remote south of Tayeglow and a few fields in Rabdure zone (Bodan), it was reported that there were no crops still standing.

Wild Foods

Wild leaves (kable) and other wild foods, which are rain dependent, were unavailable. The only wild food available was Dikdik meat.

Income Opportunities

Self-employment activities have increased to above normal levels in the main urban towns. Bush products, such as myrrh, frankincense, and gums, were exported to other regions. In other districts, Huddur for example, the self-employment activities included the sale of construction sticks & poles, buffalo grass roots and acacia pods for cattle feed. The sale of water, firewood, and charcoal has increased, but since a large number of people are involved in these activities, the price has been decreasing daily, with the exception of myrrh and gums, which have been taken to Bossaso and other areas.

Displacement and Migration

An above normal, unseasonal, population movement, particularly from areas experiencing both water shortage and crop failure, has started towards the main villages and district centres. Other IDPs travelled in a different direction - Baydhaba, Mogadishu, and Belet Weyne. Other IDP’s from Dinsor passed through Huddur on their way to Puntland, as well as some IDP’s from Tayeglow, El Berde, Kalate, and Godei (Ethiopia). Unlike previous population movements, the number of non-Bantu households was very high. Normally, when the number of non-Bantu households’ movement is high, the assumption can be made that the situation is more serious both in agro-pastoral and pastoral regions of Bakool.

Market Price

Locally produced cereals were in a very limited supply. Also, the purchasing power was very weak, particularly in Huddur and Wajid. The markets were full of forest products, such as firewood, charcoal, construction sticks and poles. The term of trade of cattle to sorghum is very poor, due to poor cattle conditions from lack of water and pasture. For example, in November, the term of trade for 1 cow was 100kg of sorghum. However, the term of trade for one 1 cow is now 25kg of sorghum, because the condition of cattle has significantly deteriorated. The terms of trade for goats and camel to sorghum remain fairly stable.

Health and Nutrition

Overall, health services are poor or generally non-existent. UNICEF has improved the water sanitation in Huddur by installing hand pumps to public shallow wells in the district center. Malaria and respiratory diseases are very common.

Security Situation

The region was relatively calm and stable. Roads were accessible, with the exception of roads in remote areas, where mines are believed to have been buried during the previous conflict. One important road was de-mined by Somali volunteers and experts from neighbouring countries. Trucks travelling from Mogadishu to Gedo and up to the Kenyan border were paying Ssh500,000 to Ssh1,000,000 to Huddur district authorities. There have been 5-7 trucks/day passing through Huddur on their way to Gedo, particularly Luuq, since the closure of the main road from Mogadishu to Gedo.

Gedo Region

GENERAL SITUATION

Deyr rains were received very late in November and early December. Southern parts of the region received the better rains, whereas shorter and more localized rainfall was received in other areas. Rainfed crops were established late and are in poor condition. Livestock conditions have recovered in some parts, particularly Bardera and El Wak, while in other areas (e.g. Burdubo and Garbaharey) livestock have moved towards neighboring districts.

Rainfall

Southern parts of the region, including Bardera and El Wak, have received reasonable rains in early December. Other areas had little rain. (No mention of Dolow, Belet Hawa and Lugh). Weather conditions were generally hot with few clouds.

Pasture and Livestock Condition

Pasture and grazing conditions vary from district to district. In general, pasture conditions and, therefore, livestock recovery is best in the south, including Bardheere and El Wak districts. In other areas (e.g. Burdubo and Garbaharey), animals are migrating to neighboring areas in search of better conditions.

Water Availability

No serious water problems were reported.

Crops

The early-established areas with rainfed crops are in a normal condition. Late planted crops are in poor condition. The irrigated maize from Bardheere district has proceeded well, and is currently being harvested.

Income Opportunity

Agricultural labor opportunities increased in the rainfed areas.

Displacement and Migration

No migration/displacement was reported in the region except for the IDPs in Lugh.

Markets

Cereal availability increased, as the maize harvest entered the market - prices fell as the supply increased. No sorghum was seen in the market. Imported commodity supplies decreased, as roads became impassable from the rains.

Health and Nutrition

The nutritional status of poor households is not good, as food is difficult to access for such people. Proper health services do not exist in the whole region, as many of the health organizations have suspended their operations. Medicinal drugs are scarcely available.

Security

The region was calm and stable during December.

Bay

GENERAL SITUATION

Rains were mainly received in southwest parts of Dinsor. However, water availability is normal. Early planted crops are in flowering stages, while late-planted crops are in growing stages and would soon require additional moisture. Livestock conditions are normal. Job opportunities are decreasing, as most agricultural work has now finished. Food stocks are low and prices are high this month, in part due to the long distance travel necessary between the region and the Lower and Middle Shabelle regions. The health and nutrition of poor and very poor households is reported to be poor, due to few good income opportunities. Security has been normal.

Population Movement

Farmers originating from the Dinsor district are returning from Buale and Sakow, as crops have been established in the Dinsor district. Farmers from Burhakaba district continue to leave to Shabelle and Benadir areas, as a result of poor crop establishment.

Crops

Early planted crops are in flowering stages, whereas late-planted crops need additional rains. Most of the crops are in the latter stage. Most of the farmers are carrying out the weeding and more rains are needed in order for the crops to reach the tussling stage.

Food Aid Distributions

Emergency food relief did not arrive in the region this month.

Market Activities

Livestock prices are rising due to lower sales. Milk prices are decreasing, due to an increased supply, as a result of the late rains. Prices of all commodities remain high, due in part to long transportation routes.

Employment Opportunities

Job opportunities are minimal at this time of the season. Only weeding is available in some areas where plants are still in the early stages.

Security Situation

Security is good, with no clashes reported.

Hiran Region

GENERAL SITUATION

In late November and early December, poor to normal rainfall, which was uniformly distributed, was received in most parts of the region. Water, pasture and grazing are normal in pastoral areas. The cattle have started to recover body weight.

Rainfall

Even though the deyr rains often fail in the Hiran region, current deyr rains were only slightly less than normal. Quantities varied from 41-135mm in December.

Pasture and Water

Green pasture and grazing are available in potential grazing lands of pastoral and agro-pastoral areas, bringing relief to herders in despair. Water availability is normal at water points, but scarce at rangeland.

Livestock

Current pasture and grazing is allowing for the body weight recovery of livestock, with milk and meat production normalizing. Slightly higher than normal cattle diseases have been reported, with few deaths in localized areas. However, the seasonal prospects are much better than they were a month ago.

Crops

Crops were well established along the river. Area planted for standing crops, under pump irrigation, is slightly below the last deyr season. The majority of rainfed crops planted this year were late planted (80%). Most of the crops are in flowering to grain formation stages. Stalk borer infestation has heavily affected early-planted crops, and the American bollworm has moderately affected late-planted crops. Standing crops benefited from the late rains, which acted as supplementary irrigation. Crops are in normal to good condition. Re-planting of the flood recession areas of southeast and southwest villages of Jalalaqsi district was delayed as the late rains boosted soil moisture.

Employment/Coping Mechanisms

Employment and self-employment (sale of bush products) activities are much sought after, but are not readily available. The selling of milk, fruit and livestock is being carried out in order to generate cash.

Market Prices and the Terms of Trade

Cereal prices are within normal ranges for this time of year, due to the continuous supply of maize from Middle and Lower Shabelle. ICRC distributed free relief food to needy agro-pastoralists. Cowpea prices fell 50%, while sesame prices started to fall. Terms of trade between livestock and cereals improved, due to livestock recovery.

Food Security and Cereal Stock

Cereal stocks have not been reported for any of the food economy groups. Premature sales of maize stalks have been observed among some irrigated households, which is an early indication of food insecurity. The timely distribution of ICRC food relief played an important role in food accessibility for vulnerable groups.

Health and Nutrition

The health and nutrition status was reported as normal, with no outbreaks of disease or severe malnutrition.

Security Situation

The security situation in Jalalaqsi and Belet Weyn was normal. Bulo Burte was reported as tense, with armed militia from two sub-clans clashing and killing several people. The main cause of the tension was land use disputes. Community leaders were not able to settle the disputes.

Middle Shabelle Region

GENERAL SITUATION

Good rainfall has been received during the 1st and 2nd dekad of the month. The distribution was uniform and good. The total amount received in Jowhar was 76mm in 5 rainy days, which is four times higher than the monthly average. Pasture and water availability has improved in the pastoral and agro-pastoral areas, due to rains received in the first and second dekad of the month. Similarly livestock condition, in terms of milk and meat, also improved. No outbreak of diseases is reported, although lack of veterinary drugs to treat commonly transmitted diseases is the main constraint, as pointed out by animal herders. Crop conditions in the irrigated, as well as the rainfed areas, is fairly good. December rains have improved the hopeless condition of the rainfed crops, which is now promising. In particular, sorghum crops are in good condition after receiving late deyr rains. Sesame crops are doing well. The river level dropped during the month. Most basic foods are available in the main local markets. The supply of maize and cowpea is normal, while sorghum is scarce. Retail prices of maize and sorghum remain the same as last month’s level, while cowpea prices decreased due to a high supply from the new harvest.

Rainfall

Good and above normal rains were received during the month throughout the three districts of the region.

Water Availability

Water availability is above normal for this time of year for the entire region.

Pasture and Grazing

The pasture and grazing conditions have improved in all pastoral and agro-pastoral areas as a result of the rains received.

Crop Conditions

Crop conditions improved in the irrigated and rainfed areas during December. Sorghum, in particular, has improved dramatically due to the late rains. Sesame crop is in good condition. Harvesting of early-planted maize has started in some areas. The river level dropped during the month.

Cereal Stocks

Household’s cereal stock in the irrigated areas is normal, while it is below normal in the rainfed area.

Market Prices

Maize and cowpeas are available in the market while sorghum is scarce. Prices of maize and sorghum remain constant, while cowpea prices have decreased, due to new supplies. Livestock prices remain as in November.

Employment/Coping Mechanisms

Agricultural labor is available in the area, although the numbers looking for work are much higher than the jobs available. Other common income earning activities include collection and sale of firewood, construction materials as well as charcoal burning and fishing.

Health and Nutrition

Health and nutrition is normal in the region. No outbreak of diseases or severe malnutrition was observed during the month.

Security Situation

The security situation was calm during the month.

Lower Shabelle Region

GENERAL SITUATION

Rains were above normal during the month, concentrated in the first 10 days. Water availability is, therefore, good throughout the region. Water catchments are full. Pasture and grazing and, therefore, animal condition and production have all been improving significantly. Due to heave rains, some damage was caused to irrigated crops, while rain-fed conditions dramatically improved. Household cereal stocks are poor in the rainfed areas. The price of maize has been falling during the month. The late deyr rains have improved prospects for the deyr cropping season.

Rainfall

December rains were above normal and concentrated in the first dekad. Rains were well distributed and the amount received ranged between 60 and 90mm in different areas. Less rain was received in coastal areas compared to inland areas.

Water Availability

Water availability is good and water catchments are full.

Pasture and Grazing Condition

Good rains have regenerated pasture in the region. Animals have access to good pasture and grazing.

Livestock

Livestock condition has improved with cattle milk production at near normal levels. Overall, animal health conditions are good. Animals are moving back to their traditional grazing areas. Some reports of cattle diseases were received for parts of Merca and Qorioley.

Crop Condition

Heavy deyr rains in December caused some damage to irrigated crops, while at the same time improved the condition of rainfed crops. About 20% of irrigated maize were damaged due to rain induced flooding. However, these areas are already being re-planted with maize and other crops. Rainfed sorghum and sesame are expected to perform well even without additional rains, whereas rainfed maize is more at risk.

Household Cereal Stocks

Household cereal stocks are poor in the rainfed areas; while in the irrigated areas farmers have adequate stocks, although re-planting of flood damaged areas will diminish supplies.

Coping Mechanisms

Good rains have improved the availability of agricultural job opportunities - planting and weeding. Other sources of income may include the collection of bush products, fishing, working as porters and petty trade.

DispIacement/Migration

There was no abnormal displacement during December.

Market Prices

Maize prices decreased in the local markets during the month. Good rains have improved prospects for the deyr season. Hence, farmers are selling their cereal stocks in order to obtain agricultural inputs (e.g. seeds, tractor hours, weeding operations).

Health and Nutrition

Health and nutrition is considered to be normal during the month.

Security Situation

No particular security concerns were noted during the month.

Cowpea Belt Region

GENERAL SITUATION

Pasture, water availability and animal production all continue to improve, due to rains received over the last 2 months. Cowpea harvesting has also resulted in a 50% reduction in cowpea prices. In general, food security, cereal supply, animal, and crop conditions are normal. There are positive expectations, though problems remain in localized settlements.

Rainfall

Rainfall continued its scattered and localized patterns during the month, particularly improving pasture accessibility.

Livestock

In most locations, the livestock condition is good with reliable productivity and marketability. In localized areas, such as Dusa-mareeb, El Buur and El Der, poor rains are resulting in poor animal conditions. The tick borne disease remains active with limited veterinary services and drugs available.

Water Availability

Sufficient drinking water is available from shallow wells, water catchments and Barags.

Pasture Grazing

In general, pasture and grazing are available in most areas.

Dry Land Farming Activities

Cowpeas, sorghum, watermelon, sesame, peanuts, cassava, and finger millet are all in normal to good condition. Early planted cowpeas are being harvested, which has significantly lowered prices.

Coping Mechanisms and Employment Opportunities

Normal coping mechanisms are livestock sales, remittances and bush product sales. Job opportunities are limited in central regions - livestock herding, trading, some fishing and farming activities are most common.

Migration

Nomadic movements, in search of water and pasture, are normalizing as people return to their original settlements.

Market Prices

Generally, prices for both local and imported commodities are stable, while milk and recently harvested cowpeas have fallen by 50%.

Health and Nutrition

The health conditions, in the central regions, are improving gradually in the areas that have received the most rain. There are still some vulnerable communities in those areas that have had a shortage of rain.

Major Community Needs

Health and education services remain a critical need, as well as the maintenance of water points and roads.

Juba Valley Region

GENERAL SITUATION

Good rains in early December, throughout the region, are facilitating positive conditions for both livestock and crops in most areas. Badhade and Sakow are the two areas reporting problems, with poor rainfed conditions and low household cereal stocks, as well as an outbreak of a tick borne disease-affecting cattle in Badhade. Maize prices are also above normal in northern and inland areas, away from the dheshek producing areas.

Rainfall

Overall, deyr rains were considered normal for the two regions of Middle and Lower Juba. Frequency and intensity was higher in the first dekad compared to the second two.

Pasture and Water

Pasture and water availability has improved and returned to normal levels in most areas. Livestock has returned to normal pasture areas.

Livestock

Livestock conditions continued to improve throughout December. Livestock body weight and milk/meat production is all healthy. No abnormal disease outbreaks were noted, except for Badhade, where an outbreak of a tick born disease, affecting cattle, was reported.

Crops

Crops are, in general, well established, with maize being the dominant cereal. Dheshek cultivation is common in much of the region. Sesame has also been planted, which is normal. Some stalk borer infestation has been observed.

Household Cereal Stocks

Cereal stocks of poor agro-pastoral and pastoral households are considered below normal, particularly in Sakow and Badhade districts. Other groups have stocks to last them until the deyr harvest.

Markets

Local maize prices are normal to above normal. Prices significantly vary, in general, lowest in Lower Juba in the dheshek areas (e.g. Jilib, and Jamame), and rising as one moves up river and away from the dheshek areas. The price of imported food commodities remains high, though stable, due to the impassable roads caused by the rains, as well as the changed trade routes and inflation. Cattle prices are continuing to improve, as is the norm in the rainy season where few animals are sold.

IDPs

IDP movements are high into Buale, with people coming from Sakow and rainfed farming villages in Bay and Gedo. IDPs from Kismayo remain in the area.

Health and Nutrition

The main health problems observed in the region continue to be malaria, respiratory infections and tuberculosis. The lack of drugs and health services is a major concern, particularly in Lower Juba region. In general, the nutrition status was normal.

Somaliland-East: Togdheer, Sanaag and Sool Regions

GENERAL SITUATION

During December, as is normal, no rains were received in all of the eastern regions. However, the food security situation remains normal for all food economy groups, with the exception of the poor pastoralists of the Haud ecological zone. These households are selling their productive assets (breeding and pack animals) in order to meet food needs – their dire situation has been highlighted in previous FSAU flashes and highlights.

Rainfall

No rains were received, though conditions remain normal, with the exception of above-mentioned Haud areas.

Pastoral Food Security Situation

Apart from those already mentioned, food security conditions are normal.

Water Availability and Accessibility

Water availability is normal in all areas.

Pasture and Grazing Availability

Pasture and grazing conditions are normal.

Livestock Condition, Production and Movement

Body weight conditions have improved throughout the deyr season, though milk production is declining as the rain ends. Livestock trade-related job opportunities are good in the Burao market.

Crop (Rainfed Agriculture)

Total production in Toghdeer and Sanaag is estimated at over 720MT.

Trade and Market Activities

  • Livestock Trade activities: Increased, due to Saudi demand
  • Currency Exchange market: Somali Shilling appreciated slightly against the US$
  • Fresh Milk Trade: Decreasing, with end of rains

Coping Mechanisms

The coping mechanisms of the Haud area were below normal, while most parts of the region were normal.

Health and Nutrition

Apart from the Haud ecological zone, the nutritional status of the regional population is normal.

Market Price

The exchange rate slightly increased in some districts in December. Export quality animals (shoats) are gaining value from Ssh230,000 to 250,000, due to increased demand from Saudi Arabia. Sugar and rice prices have increased slightly.

Price of Food Commodities:

Commodity Price (So.Sh.)

One Liter of Camel milk 4,000

One Kilo of Ghee 40,000

50Kg of Rice 193,000

50Kg of Sugar 160,000

50Kg Wheat flour 160,000

Export Quality Sheep 230,000

Local Quality Sheep 150,000

The exchange rate of 1 US$ = Ssh10,040 in Sool

The exchange rate of 1 US$ = Ssh10,286 in Togdheer

Somaliland-West: Northwest and Awdal

GENERAL SITUATION

As reported in the previous month, and elaborated upon in this update, food security conditions for virtually all food economy groups are good. In particular, the dramatic seasonal (Ramadan) increases in remittances during the month and the strength of the Somaliland shilling make purchasing power strong. Notable events that may affect this positive outlook over time are: large movements into Somaliland of pastoral herds, particularly camels, from the Somali region of Ethiopia, which is experiencing severe dry conditions; and, increasing numbers of displaced and migrants from southern Somalia and Ethiopia. Both of these events will put additional pressure on host communities and resources over time.

Rainfall

The usual dry season, along with abnormal cold weather during the nights, commenced in the first week of December in the plateau and Hawd ecological zones. On the other hand, the early Daalalo rains, beginning late November and ending the first week of December, were experienced along the coastal and sub-coastal ecological zones. As predicted earlier, these rains were scattered and their impact was not highly beneficial.

Water Availability

Availability and access to water for both humans and livestock is comparatively much better than the situation experienced the same month of last year. However, large-scale migration of huge camel herds from the Somali region of Ethiopia is expected to induce early drying up of private water reservoirs, located throughout the pasture rich plains neighboring Odweine of the Togdheer region.

Income Opportunities

In addition to the continued beneficial impact of the four factors mentioned during November reporting period, both income opportunities and purchasing power of the majority have improved dramatically during the holy month of Ramadan, which began the last second week of December. Among important factors resulting in the betterment of the food security situation include:

  • Increased remittance amounts from relatives abroad to their kin in the urban/rural areas of Somalia/Somaliland. Preliminary findings of on-going studies on seasonal variation of remittance amounts predict about a 100% increase of the amounts transferred during the Ramadan month, as compared to the amount transferred normally.
  • Exchange of gifts (all levels) among relatives, in terms of both cash and non-cash, has increased, as is the usual during the month of Ramadan.
  • Islamic charity organizations, based in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), also donated, for registered orphans and their families in Hargeisa, about $250,000. Representatives of charity organizations stated that they are planning to donate the same amount once every four months.

Markets and Trade Activities

Apart from the negative impact resulting from the halted trade links with Djibouti, which mostly affected about 30% of the inhabitants of Awdal region (both rural and urban), both trade and market activities were booming elsewhere in these two regions. During Ramadan, the number of slaughtered Cattle/Camels in the urban markets increased up to 100% to address demand for the meat required for the daily Sambusa dish consumed during Ramadan. Conversely, the number of shoats slaughtered per day decreased more than 50% during the same month. Other trade activities diminished during Ramadan, including importation of Kat (Mira) from Ethiopia, which caused a 60% reduction of the revenue generated from this source for the government. Marketing of clothes and other non-consumable goods, that are most appropriate for the Eid Al Fitri festivities, has increased more than normal. This indicates the community’s improved resource base, which has enabled them to spend a significant part of their income on purchasing clothes and other non-essential items used for the Eid festivities. Diesel prices remain high due to a standing dispute between the principal fuel importers and the government. The exchange rate of the Somaliland Shilling against the US Dollar remained the same, as the previous month, in Hargeisa, Borama and Berbera markets. Throughout the month, the exchange rate remained around 2,750 SlSh to $1.

Pasture and Grazing Availability

Apart from the pressure exerted by the massive drift of pastoral herds from across the border, the amount of pasture made available by the late Deyr rains was sufficient. The high level of migration of these stocks has already created bitter competition for water and pasture. Prospects for the timely onset of the seasonal Heys rains for the coastal and sub coastal ecological zones, from late December to early January, did not materialize to ease the pressure.

Livestock Condition, Production and Movement

Milk production remarkably decreased from the affects of extremely cool weather, marking the onset of the Jilaal season. To cope with this, herders began their seasonal movement toward the coastal and sub coastal areas. However, the livestock condition is considered normal.

Crop Production (Rainfed Agriculture)

Most of the rainfed farmers were busy with the threshing of their sorghum heads by using traditional approaches (products from each field is freely threshed by a group of neighboring farmers). Most interestingly, 10% of the Sorghum crop remained in the field this season. This was due to the plantation of long maturing varieties during the Karran rains (August/September) supported by the favorable Deyr rains.

Displacement and Migration

Figures of both the displaced and migrants found in Hargeisa, from southern Somalia and Ethiopia, are increasing daily.

Health & Nutrition

Due to the cold weather at night, increased incidents of respiratory related sicknesses are reported, particularly from poor households lacking the necessary protective clothing and shelter.

The FSAU Highlights are based on the field team reports in Somaliland, central and southern Somalia. These reports provide qualitative information on 24 food security indicators as well as narratives on the current situation as compared to normal. More detailed district reports are available from the FSAU upon request.