The worst yet to be seen as Drought situation persist across Somalia
While rainfall was registered in some parts of Somalia in the last half of November 2016, severe drought continues to expand across Somalia, according to the FAO-managed Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit (FSNAU) and FewsNet. This has affected the availability of water and pasture, according to the Somali Water and Land Information Management (SWALIM). A further deterioration of livestock body conditions is expected.
Drought conditions are deepening in Puntland and Somaliland, and have expanded to southern and central regions, including Gedo, Hiraan, Galgaduud and Lower Juba. The Deyr rainy season, which usually extends from October to December, has so far been poor, and high temperatures combined with limited amounts of rain in October 2016 that have led to drought conditions in most of Somalia, ranging from moderate to extreme. During the month of October 2016, most regions registered less than half of the usual rainfall. Crop and pasture losses are widespread, and water shortages common. Substantial increases in water prices are being reported in the majority of regions, with price hikes of as much as 66 per cent in Xudur, Bakool region, and 58 per cent in Laas Caanood, Sool region. No significant rainfall is expected in the coming weeks and the drought conditions are likely to intensify until the next rainy season expected in April 2017.
Two out of five Somalis are already acutely food insecure and prospects for the Deyr season cereal production is bleak, with crop failure expected in many areas. FSNAU preliminary estimates indicate that overall Deyr 2016/17 cereal production is expected to be 60-70 percent below the five-year average (2011-2015). Water shortages have led to an increased risk of AWD/Cholera with some areas already reporting outbreaks. With populations on the move in search of water and pasture, nearly 35,000 children are at risk of dropping out of school, according to humanitarian partners.
Urgent scale-up of humanitarian response needed Through reprogramming of funds intended for other activities and thanks to the rapid support from a number of donors, humanitarian partners are able to step up immediate lifesaving response to drought-affected people. Food security cluster partners are scaling up their activities by reprograming funds meant for recovery activities and with new funding provided directly by donors and channeled through the Somalia Humanitarian Fund.
In November, an estimated 466,100 people received food assistance, and more than 124,000 people were reached with activities aimed at building livelihoods. From August to November 2016, 1.8 million people were reached with livelihood seasonal inputs such as seeds, tools, fishing equipment, irrigation vouchers and livestock distribution and vaccination. Besides the Humanitarian Agencies, local authorities have been mobilizing communities to raise resources to help mitigate the effects of the drought is worst affected areas in Puntland. Drought committees have been formed in most major towns and have been receiving individual donations from well wishers. Galkayo Education Center for Peace and development (GECPD) has been supporting this local initative and has contributed US$ 1000 towards the drought kitty. Proceeds are mainly utilized to send emergency supplies of water and food to the affected families. GECPD has also distributed cloth materials to over 5,000 affected families in Harfo district and Baadweyn village town and the surroundings. GECPD in partnership with UNHCR also provided livelihood cash support to 120 households from IDP and host communities in Galkayo, Harfo and Baadweyn.
The current response is, however, lower than the needs and the intensity of the drought requires a significant scale-up of the response. A scale-up of humanitarian assistance is required to prevent further deterioration of the situation. If it continues at current levels, with around 1.6 million people reached per month, the number of people who will be in ‘crisis’ or ‘emergency’ is likely to increase, potentially to a drastic scale.