Somalia

Supporting flood-affected families with multi-purpose cash assistance in Jowhar district, Middle Shabelle regio

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The Government of Somalia reported that over 45,000 people were affected by heavy flooding that hit the Jowhar district in southern Somalia on 1st May 2021. Climate change is severely affecting the country, which is now recording more extreme weather events, happening with increased frequency and intensity.

The consequences for the people affected are often disastrous. Older people, women and children are already struggling to survive, and the worst may be yet to come.

Moiko village is located in the South Western corner of Jowhar, around 5 KM from the town. Moiko hosts 300 households and it was affected by floods during this year Gu rains, damaging infrastructures, houses and farmland.

Isha Daud Mohamed is a 53-year-old widow and a mother of eight children (4 boys and 4 girls). Her family relies on agriculture for living and this has been severely impacted by recurring floods and below seasonal rains over the years.

“My family depends on the small farming, growing maize, cowpea, and vegetable cash crops to manage basic household needs, but floods and intervallic below rainfall has affected my yield” Isha says.

“We have decided to remain here and wait for the water to dry from our farms. We don’t have food and safe drinking water in Moiko village. There are lots of mosquitoes and my children are sick” she says. Isha and her children were forced to evacuate their home in May 2021 due to a heavy flooding but returned after 20 days.

In May 2021, Isha was selected as one of the beneficiaries of NRC's multi-purpose cash assistance project for a period of three months. This is part of the Somali Cash Consortium crisis modifier activation led by Concern Worldwide that is generously funded by the European Union. The activation in Jowhar district of Middle Shabelle region targeted 1,000 vulnerable families with the provision of multi-purpose cash assistance.

Isha received $US 70 per month for three months to cope with the impact of floods and improve access to household basic needs. As a result of the cash assistance, the living situation of Isha’s family is now getting better. She says she used the cash to mostly feed her children. Above all, she was “very happy that she had the choice to spend the cash on what is important for her family.”

She adds gratefully, "I feel lucky to be one of the beneficiaries of this project. Since the first payment, my household’s livelihood has been improving gradually. My children can now access three meals a day. I repaid some debts, and also purchased seeds and other farm inputs to use for next farming season. A lot of things have changed. The money has changed a part of our lives."