Drought conditions still prevail in most parts of Somalia with increased water scarcity continues to be reported in most regions of the country. The cost of water skyrocketing by 60% in some areas forcing the most vulnerable households to travel long distances in search of safe water. As 24 April 2021, more than 50 districts across the country facing moderate to severe drought conditions. These districts are facing critical water shortages with Somaliland, Puntland, Galmudug, and Jubaland are the worst affected areas. A large proportion of the populations living in these areas are currently reliant on emergency water trucking. It is also important to note that the Gu rains continued to spread in time and space over the past few days with many places recording moderate rains across the country particularly Puntland and Somaliland. However, some parts of the country are yet to receive the Gu rains.
In 2021, approximately 4.6M people will need humanitarian WASH assistance in Somalia with 2.5M of them facing acute need of water, sanitation and Hygiene services. Water scarcity condition still been reported in most parts of the country.
Water prices have particularly spiked in Puntland and Somaliland and this has forced the most vulnerable households to travel long distances in search of safe water. With the start of the Gu rains in some parts of the country, drought-stricken areas are expected to experience immediate relief and water sources replenishment and pasture growth. However, the current forecasts indicate below-average rainfall in the coming weeks. According to UNOCHA, at least 3.4 million people are projected to be affected by drought conditions by the end of this year, of whom around 380,000 are expected to be displaced. Despite the worsening drought conditions and inadequate funding to cover all the needs, scale up with a full WASH emergency package including hygiene promotion, hygiene kit distribution, emergency water supply and sanitation response to drought affected regions are currently the cluster priority.
In response to this situation, the WASH partners have scaled-up emergency responses in drought affected areas. Since January 2021, 366,821 people have gained access to water through temporary water supply such as mass chlorination, water vouchering and or support for operation and maintenance of water supplies. In addition to the above, 40,692 people have received sanitation services such as construction and rehabilitation of emergency latrines. For hygiene related activities, over the past months, 227,606 people benefited hygiene promotion and hygiene kits distribution activities in several drought-stricken districts.
Water supply and sanitation remain critical gap in areas facing drought conditions. It is important to note that funding shortfalls remain a major challenge in scaling up the response. Somalia WASH Cluster requested $ 96.2 million in aid through 2021 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) to reach 2.5 million people with life-saving WASH assistance to reduce acute needs among most vulnerable settlements and communities. However, as of 25 April 2021, only 3.7 per cent funded. Without immediate mitigative assistance, drought conditions will be a key driver of displacement and increased AWD/Cholera cases in the country.