Hope Diminishing by the Day as Families Struggle to make it Through the Drought

Published February 19, 2017 by Muna Ali


Dahabo and her two grandchildren Fatima and Ahmed near Roox village, Mudug region Jan 2017


Under the blazing sun and a plain blue sky unpromising of rain anytime soon. Dahabo stands with her two grandchildren Ahmed, 6-year-old and Fatima 11-year-old. Behind them lie the carcasses of their livestock decomposing slowly in the scorching heat. For the average Somali pastoralist whose life is dependent entirely on their livestock for milk, meat and the money from their sales, with the death of their livestock, so much hope dies along with them.

Dahabo and four of her grandchildren live near Roox village in Mudug region where they have recently moved, and lost the last of their livestock. The children’s parents have moved to a different part of the region in search for survival opportunities. When pastoralists lose everything due to drought or conflict, they usually take refuge in nearby villages or their environs to get support from the communities in these villages.

The drought has disintegrated many families. Without food or water to survive on, large families cannot stay together in one place. As a coping mechanism, they scatter around in search of water and food.  Those who have relatives who can accommodate in nearby villages send some of the kids to stay with their relatives until the rainy season.

“We are a family of ten, if we all stay in one place without food or water we would all die together. So we decided to separate. Four of the children and I moved here and my daughter and her husband with three other children moved somewhere else. This way whichever side gets help from relatives or charity can send some of that to the other.” Dahabo explained.

There are hundreds of thousands of people who share Dahabo’s predicament in Mudug region alone. Many of them are children who are acutely malnourished and at risk of starvation. As these families struggle to feed their children, every day passes brings them closer to accepting an agonizing reality; if they don’t get water and food immediately, a day is looming where they will bury their children.

“Not knowing where our next meal and drinking water are coming from is a torture we live every day. Before, we were doing everything we could to save what had remained of our livestock. As pastoralist, they were our only asset and source of income you know! But now we have lost everything. I am worried for the children. As an adult they expect me to put something to eat in front of them. But, what am I going to feed them, we don't have anything!” Says Dahabo in despair.

6 years after 260,000 people starved as a result of the 2011 famine. Today the lives of millions of Somalis across the country is hanging by a thread. Without immediate life-saving assistance for their survival, the country is likely to slip into another famine.

Since January 2017, Adeso has been carrying out drought response in form of water trucking, borehole fuel subsidies, rehabilitation of water major points providing access to water through vouchers for drought-affected communities in Sanaag and Mudug. Join us today as we help them survive through the drought. You have the power to restore their hope. Donate Today!