Somaliland assistance bulletin Jan - Mar 2007

Situation Report
Originally published



Finalized on January 2007, FAO/FSAU led Post-Deyr assessment indicated above normal rains in most parts of Somaliland leading to improved livelihoods through increased availability of water and pasture. Improved body conditions combined with Haji (pilgrimage) season improved livestock prices enhancing the purchasing power. However, due to reported rift valley, meat and livestock export has been stopped right after the Haj by Arab countries. Unknown camel disease has significantly reduced herd sizes of many families throughout the country with no indication of containing it. The disease was a cross-border disease, as the same disease was reported in Ethiopian Somali region before it was patterned in Somaliland.

According to FSAU, crop assessment in Somaliland indicated higher crop harvest; about 147% of the Post War Average (PWA: 1998-2006) and the highest after 2003 and 2005 with sorghum being the dominant cereal crop (88%). Maize the second cereal crop cultivated.

FSAU Post Deyr nutrition survey also indicated alert malnutrition rates for under 5 children with Severe Acute Malnutrition of 0.7% in Nugal valley to 1.9% in Hawd livelihood zone. The Global malnutrition ranges from 8.1% in Hawd livelihood zone (South of Hargeisa) to 9% in Sool Plateau. All malnutrition figures showed improvement compared to the 2002 figures. Although from alert to serious nutrition conditions are reported, the condition is far better than the nutritional situation in the South and Central Somalia. In most cases, considerable correlation of malnutrition with ART and diarrhea diseases was reported.

Water born Diarrhea outbreaks was widely reported in many parts of the country (see the health section for details) after the Deyr rains. Root causes of water born diseases are believed to be related with poor quality of the drinking water which is mainly openwater sources.

The good Deyr season (November-December 2006) allowed rural communities (both pastoral and agropastoral) smooth transition to the next rainy (Gu) season (April-June 2007) without drought symptoms in the long dry (Jilaal) season (December 06-March 07).

In March 2007, Gu rains started earlier than expected in Somaliland but shortly lived. These rains, most of which were received in western parts of the country (Awdal and Hargeisa regions), have improved pasture and water resources. If such good to normal rains are received in this Gu season, the rural livelihoods particularly pastoral communities are expected to have better post-drought recovery including building up of assets and improved resilience to shocks.

According to Somalia Food Security Emergency Release of FEWSNET released on 23rd March 2007, the recent climate outlook for the Greater Horn of Africa including Somalia predict the likelihood of near normal Gu rains (April to June 2007) which is expected to sustain further livelihood recovery.

FSAU Post-Deyr forecast better livestock build up as there is high kidding rate expected for sheep/goats in April and May 2007 due to high conception in October-December 2006 while medium to low calving is expected for the camels due to low conception during October-December 2006.

The FEWSNET release, however, estimated possible floods in the riverine areas of the Southern Somalia.

There are reports of widespread locust in some parts of Awdal Region in March 2007 due to recent rains. Larva infestation of the locust was widely reported in the coastal areas and now the flying stage of the locust has reached Borama town crossing the Ethiopian border. Due to lack of local capacity and preparedness to deal with locust outbreaks, there is a need to develop networks with the regional locust bodies/companies that can assist Somaliland during the time of infestation.

As chronic food insecurity is pre-dominant problem in most rural livelihoods, assistance targeting at improving resilience to shocks and supporting the productive assets and infrastructure can contribute to further livelihood recovery of the communities. Building the local capacities in preparedness and responsiveness to disasters like droughts and floods can assist in coping with natural shocks which are becoming more frequent in the recent years.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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