Cash Assistance: A Glimmer of Hope for Ayeryero

Published June 20, 2017 by Muna Ali Mohamoud

Ayeryero standing in front of her shelter in the IDP camp in Bairdao April 2017


The 75 years Ayeryero Hassan Ibrahim never left her home in Rabdhure district in the Bakool region of Somalia. Rabdhure is the place she was raised, married and had her 6 children, and until 6 months ago she never imagined life anywhere else. Ayeryero was one of the hundreds of thousands who were forced to leave their homes in search for help. Leaving is never a decision they make lightly, but a matter of survival after they have lost everthing to the drought.

The drought that Somalia faces today puts 6.7 million people- more than half of the Somali population on the brink of famine. The outbreak of diseases such as cholera and measles is making the dire situation even more tragic. And the number of drought-induced displacement has risen to 714,000 people from Nov 2016 to May 2017 according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

“We herd our livestock and cultivated a small piece of land. Three years of drought caused the harvest to fail, and we also lost our livestock. I had to choose between staying and facing a certain death or leaving, I chose to leave. There was no reason to stay.” Says Ayeryero explaining why she left her village.

A six-day walk has led Ayeryero and 30 other people from her village to an IDP camp in Baidoa. Arriving at the camp was not the end of their plight. The reason people choose to migrate to a big town like Baidoa is in hope of finding assistance. Little did Ayeryero and her company know, a new struggle for their survival was ahead of them.

Ayeryero describes her life in Baidoa as very difficult. In a very congested camp that hosts over 300 families she lives in a small shelter made of sticks with nothing to sleep on. And finding food or water is a daily struggle. Going from one house to another looking for food and water is her only way of surviving.

“People try to help me occasionally sometimes they decline. There is so many of us in the town and we are all relying on asking the residents to give us food and water and sometimes some cash to buy food and water.” She explained.

The current drought exacerbated by climate change has been dragging on for three years, four years in some parts of the country. Slowly deleting the pastoral and agro-pastoral communities of assets, coping mechanisms and hope.

In April, Adeso delivered cash transfer assistance to 100 families in the IDP camp where Ayeryero lives. To help the affected people get access to food, water, and seek medical attention. A small amount for someone who has lost everything and who is displaced from their home. But Ayeryero who is one of those who received the cash transfer said that this money gave her hope again, she can survive on this for 2 more months.

“I can go to the market and buy raw food and cook for myself. And I don’t have to stress about water. I am so hopeful that more help will come. It's such a relief to know that there are people out there who care about us and who want to help us”. She says.

Over the past six months, Adeso has assisted 165,144 people through the rehabilitation and powering major water sources, water trucking, distribution of cash assistance to the most vulnerable drought-affected people as well as training community animal health workers. Learn more about how Adeso is helping the drought striken communities.