UNHCR Somalia: PRMN Drought displacements to 23 June 2017
Drought displacements since November 2016
New drought displacements 1-23 June
IDP returns to 23 June predominantly Bay region
New arrivals to Baidoa in period 1-23 June 2017
Spike in drought displacements in Bay region during June
The situation of ongoing drought, combined with lack of access to humanitarian assistance in Al-Shabaab (AS) controlled areas, has persisted throughout 2017, causing already dire conditions to further deteriorate. While the general trend for new displacements over the last two months has been downward, an increase in new movements has been monitored in Bay Region over the past few weeks. PRMN partners monitored the arrival of approximately 13,500 individuals to Baidoa town between 1 and 23 June, originating mainly from remote villages in Berdaale, Dinsoor and Qansahdhere districts in Bay region, and Rabdhuure district in Bakool. In total, around 3,400 individuals have been displaced from Bakool region alone as part of this recent spike. Those disproportionately affected include children, lactating mothers, pregnant women, and the elderly, many bearing signs of shock including worn-out clothing and diminished physique. This recent wave of displacement comprises largely of pastoralist and agro-pastoralist communities who arrived by foot, mini buses, large trucks and donkey carts. According to those interviewed on arrival, a significant proportion of their livestock had died as a result of severe water shortages while the remaining was consumed.
Drought displacements during the period 1-23 June 2017
Absorption capacities in Baidoa have already been severely overstretched, leaving new arrivals no option but to settle in the outskirts of the town. Some 1,360 households (approximately 8,160 individuals) have established new IDP settlements in the west (Hagarka iyo Madi Geri IDP settlement) and in the north (Boodan IDP settlement) of Baidoa town. Only a limited amount of humanitarian assistance has been provided in these two settlements in the form of medical assistance and food rations. The most immediate and pressing needs of the recent drought displaced remain food, water, shelter and mosquito nets.
With the Gu’ season at hand, some IDPs have started to return to their places of origin in Bay and Bakool regions in order to resume crop production and other farming activities. Approximately 16,300 individuals (of which 9,800 in June so far) are reported to have returned to their villages of origin in Bay region – predominantly to villages within Baidoa district but also to Dinsoor and Qansahdhere districts. Annual seasonal farming is reported to be the primary push factor for these return movements. Many of the return areas – Idaale, Koban, Korunbod, Ban-yal, Misir, Awdiinle, Goofgaduud and Seydhellow, are located in the main cereal production belts of Bay and Bakool regions but also lie within areas controlled by Al-Shabaab. These people are effectively returning to similar conditions from which they fled, and in turn could potentially face heightened protection risks and diminished humanitarian support as a result.