Somalia Humanitarian Bulletin, 1 March – 3 April 2019

Situation Report
Originally published



  • Drier than normal conditions prevail.

  • Children on the move.

  • Explosive devices impeding aid operations.

  • Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia exit interview.

  • Pooled effort prioritizes $45.7 million, but more resources are urgently needed


# of food insecure people 4.9m

# of people in humanitarian emergency and crisis (IPC Phases 3 &4) 1.5m

# of people in IPC Phase 2 3.4m

# of children projected to be malnourished in 2019 1.2m

# of people displaced internally by drought since November 2016 1.6m

# of people in protracted internal displacement 1.1m


$1.08 BILLION requested in the 2019 Humanitarian Response Plan

$135 MILLION Total humanitarian funding received towards the 2019 HRP Source, 31 March 2019.

Drier than normal conditions prevail

Significantly drier and hotter-thannormal conditions prevailed in March, with an increased likelihood of dry conditions and above-average temperatures continuing until the onset of the Gu rains in April, according to the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWSNET). The 2018 Deyr rains were not sufficient to sustain pasture through the harsh weather conditions of January to March 2019. Mild to moderate drought conditions are now imminent in many parts of northern Somalia, while southern areas are experiencing persistent abnormal dryness, according to the FAO-led Somalia Water and Land Information Management (SWALIM).

In Somaliland and Puntland, some of the worst affected areas are experiencing prolonged dryness, leading to severe water shortages and earlier-than-normal water trucking at hiked prices. Water and pasture shortages are causing livestock leaning and devaluing. On 12 March, Somaliland’s Ministry of Water Resources Development declared a state of water emergency, and announced plans to start government-supported water trucking to Sool, Sanaag, parts of Togdheer and the coastal areas.

Increase in water prices

In Puntland’s most affected areas such as Bari, Karkaar, north Mudug and Sanaag, water price increases range between 10 and 25 per cent with the highest reported in Nugaal where 200 liters now cost US$8, up from $5 in January. Water shortages have also been reported in areas of central and southern regions of the country, mainly among pastoral communities. In Gamudug State’s Hobyo and south Gaalkacyo districts, nearly 9,600 pastoralists and their livestock are experiencing water shortages due to worsening Jilaal season dry conditions. In Jubaland State, nearly 24,000 pastoralists in areas in Baardheere, are in a similar situation where the price of water has nearly quadrupled to $7.50 from $2 for 200 liters. The prices in the affected areas are likely to go up if the dry conditions persist and the next Gu rainy season delays. Local authorities have appealed to humanitarian partners to scale up livelihood interventions to expedite recovery for communities still dealing with the effects of the 2016/17 drought and assist find sustainable solutions to the perennial water shortages. According to a recent assessment, the prices of staple foods (sorghum, maize & cowpeas) in Ceel Barde is now 20 per cent higher compared to the same time last year. The Hiraan regional authorities are concerned about the deteriorating situation in some rural areas where livestock body conditions and production has reduced. They have called for urgent assistance to protect livelihoods in order to strengthen communities’ resilience.
In Banadir region, the number of IDPs without access to adequate water has continued to rise. This comes at a time when partners are scaling down water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) activities due to inadequate funding. Inaccessibility to sufficient water supply is likely to compound the AWD/cholera situation in Banadir, which continues to receive new IDPs from conflict-affected areas regions. Meanwhile, reports indicate that the Juba and Shabelle river levels are very low; parts of the middle and lower reaches of the Shabelle River are reportedly dry and therefore unable to support irrigation along the river.

Interagency assessments in affected areas

Humanitarians are conducting assessments in the worst affected areas to establish the extent of the crisis and identify pressing needs. In Bakool, an inter-agency assessment led by Ceel Barde district administration and OCHA, to Ceel Barde town, recommended urgent WASH and food assistance for nearly 9,000 IDPs. The estimated 35,000 local residents, who mainly rely on open and unprotected shallow wells - most of which have dried up – are forming long queues for water at the only functioning borehole in the town. Consecutive seasons of poor rains and livestock losses as well as poor crop harvest have resulted in high levels of food insecurity in the area. IDPs are most affected. According to an interagency assessment to Qardho and Garowe IDP sites in Puntland State, the dry conditions have led to the scarcity of water and pasture, and increasing malnutrition among children, pushing people into destitution. The IDPs are now forced to rely on water trucking at high costs. The price of water in most of the sites has increased from $4 to $10 for 200 litres.

Climatic Outlook

There is a probable change in the recent forecast by the Greater Horn of Africa Climate Outlook Forum, which had predicted a greater likelihood of near normal to above normal Gu rainfall in most parts of Somalia. This is due to the developments of the tropical cyclones in the Indian Ocean, which are influencing the current weather, according to the latest drought watch by SWALIM. The northward movement of the rain bearing rain zone – Inter Tropical Convergence Zone - has been delayed by the existence of cyclonic systems in the Mozambican channel, thus delaying the onset of rains in Somalia and neighboring Kenya.

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