Hargeisa, 6 February 2010 (Somalilandpress) – Predictions were made that food security and nutrition situation may worsen in most parts of Somaliland by Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit (FSNAU) of FAO in its early warning briefs .Some of the reasons cited included:
i. Poor “deyr” rains that preceded by dry “Hagaa” season which negatively affected pastural livelihoods.
ii. Very critical nutrition situation reported in agro-pastoral population, based on a data for rapid assessment.
iii. High numbers of children, identified as acutely malnourished, that require rehabilitation. For Togdheer pastoral population, the situation was classified as serious.
iv. Insufficient water and pasture for livestock herds through the “jilaal” dry season (January to March 2010), which will cause early water trucking in Sool, Haud and Haud of Hargeisa.
v. Very low Livestock production and re-production due to poor conception rate during the post “jilaal” and “Gu 2009” as well as livestock diseases during, “Hagaa 09”, that resulted in death and abortion of camels and goats. In Awdal region, cattle and sheep had weak body conditions.
Recent assessment carried out by National Environment Risk and Disaster (NERAD) also confirmed the gravity of the drought faced by the people.
The facts are:
The ”Gu” rains were below normal
The “Karan” rains were below normal
The “ Deyr” was also below normal
The “Heis “rains in Guban areas didn’t also rain normally
In certain areas in Sool, Sanag and Togdheer, there were no rains
As a result of above facts, poor pasture, scarcity of water, food and weakend human and animal health has been experienced. Recent Reports received from all regions confirmed (Viz: Togdheer, Sool, Sanag, Awdal,Maroodijeex,and Selel) that both pastoralists and agro- pastoralists are facing serious, but devastating drought. The affected population is estimated to be 40% of the total population of Somaliland of 3.5 million which equals to 1.4 million people.
A serious humanitarian catastrophe seems to be imminent, which is beyond the capacity of national authority, that requires to be prevented.
The government of Somaliland, therefore, appeals to international community (i.e. Governments, UN Agencies and other humanitarian organizations as well as the business communities and other benevolent institutions for urgent humanitarian assistance and livelihood support to avert worsening of the humanitarian crises.
In addition, assistance and support to urgent water trucking, construction and rehabilitation of boreholes as well as rehabilitation and desilting of “Berkads” and ‘Dams’ and the supplies of necessary medications for affected human and livestock populations will be needed to avert break-out of epidemics. Nutritional support to the weak and sick will also be necessary.
The situation is critical and may continue to worsen in the coming months. It requires rapid and fast responses from the international community, the business community, humanitarian and benevolent institutions to deliver needed humanitarian assistance and livelihood support.
Hon. Ali Ibrahim Mohamed
Minister of National planning, coordination and Relations with International Organizations
On behalf of Chairperson of the National Disaster Management Committee and Vice President of the Republic of Somaliland