When in Drought Clean Water Can Save Lives

Published February 3, 2018 by DEAP Project team

Asha and her family sitting under a tree in Hadhwanaag village, Sool region


Under the shadow of a dry, sun-parched tree, Asha’s family just finished eating their lunch. As the 54-year-old pours water for her grandson who is sitting next to her, she recalled a time when they didn’t have water for drinking let alone for cooking or washing dishes.

In Hadhwanaag, a small village in Sool region in northern Somalia whose residents are severely affected by the current drought, water has been one of the most pressing needs.

“Lack of food is difficult but lack of water is a whole other disaster. We need water for everything. How can a family of 11 survive without water?” Asha exclaimed.

In Sool region, water shortages have forced people to resort to using unclean water which has led to the outbreak of waterborne diseases such as Acute Watery Diarrhea and Cholera. The lack of clean drinking water has left many people, like Asha’s family, in a tragic situation of having to drink dirty water to survive but knowing if this water could also kill them.

September 2017 marked the beginning of 4 months relief from water shortage for 500 households in 3 villages in Sool region. Adeso, with the support of USAID/OFDA, delivered 2 barrels of clean water a week. Families use this water for drinking, cooking and cleaning.

“Water had become scarce and expensive. We couldn't afford enough water for the family, what we could buy or borrow was barely enough for drinking”. Asha expressed. The water trucking doesn’t only respond to the households’ need of water for human consumption and other domestic purposes, but it also helps them use the money they would otherwise spend on water for other critical needs such as food and medicine.

In addition to the water trucking, families received hygiene promotion training and hygiene kits (including water storage containers household utensils, soap, nail clippers, mugs, and waste collection and disposal tools such as rakes, shovels) that aim to improve hygiene at household and individual level and personal hygiene, which will ultimately prevent susceptibility to waterborne diseases.

Thanks to the Drought Emergency Assistance Project (DEAP) vulnerable drought affected families like Asha’s now have immediate access to water.