Somalia’s deadly drought fuels mass displacement


Already battered by climate change-related disasters such as floods and desert locust invasions, Somalia has now been in the grip of a deadly drought that is causing massive displacement.

People in several regions of the country are heading for various towns and cities in search of water and food, further testing the government’s response of imposing a state of emergency to tackle the crises.

The worst-hit areas include the Bay, Bakol and Gedo regions.

Baidoa, capital of the Bay region, houses over 400,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) and is still receiving hordes of people from different parts of the South West State.

The majority of these refugees have lost their only source of income – livestock, according to South West State Humanitarian Affairs Minister Abdinasir Abdi Arush.

“In South West State, Baidoa is home to over 400,000 internally displaced persons, most of them children and women. The situation is critical,” he told Anadolu Agency on Friday.

A humanitarian crisis

“The drought, coupled with a blockade by al-Shabab in some parts of the state, is causing a disaster that is beyond our capability to handle,” Arush said.

“These shelterless people have nothing to eat or drink. We need to help them before it is too late.”

In November last year, Somalia’s Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble declared a state of emergency.

He called on the public, religious scholars, businesspeople and the international community to unite and help people in need.

Moreover, seasonal rains failed to quench the country for the third time since late 2020, according to a recent report by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA).

Some 3.5 million Somalis already face acute food insecurity and without urgent and increased support, the situation will likely deteriorate further, the UN agency said.

The Turkish Red Crescent, which has been carrying out humanitarian aid activities in Somalia since 2011, has doubled its efforts to help families in need.


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