DRC scales up response in Somaliland to avert possible famine

Report from Danish Refugee Council
Published on 20 Mar 2017 — View Original

The drought situation in Somaliland continues to get worse following consequent poor rainy seasons. There are growing fears that the country could face a famine, which would have devastating impact on the population. The Danish Refugee Council is currently scaling up its response in various areas in Somaliland with anticipation to reach more than 16,000 drought-affected households.

More than one million people in Somaliland (or 31 percent of the population) were already in need of some form of humanitarian assistance by end of 2016, according to the most recent seasonal assessment report published by the Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit (FSNAU) and the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWSNET).

“We are worried at the scale and pace with which the ongoing drought has left many families without food and at risk of starvation. We are equally concerned that many families are forced to move from their homes in search of water and pasture for their animals hence increasing their protection risks. DRC is scaling up its emergency response in Somaliland in order to reduce the high food insecurity levels and the severe water shortages that we are witnessing in some of the critically affected areas,” says Simon Nzioka, DRC Country Director.

With funding from different donors, DRC is scaling up its interventions to drought-affected populations in Somaliland by providing disaster-affected populations with immediate life-saving services in a timely and dignifying manner while providing adequate protection to vulnerable and at-risk groups.

Emergency support is being provided in the areas of Food Security and Livelihoods (FSL) and WASH. Expected results on FSL is immediate food security for vulnerable communities through cash transfers which are increasing the purchasing power for targeted households with limited access to food commodities that are readily available in the local markets.

“We know that at this time cash is king for an effective pre-famine mitigation response. This is why we are prioritizing cash transfers where markets are functioning to affected populations to enable them to make their own choices and to also facilitate where aid agencies cannot be able to access physically and deliver much needed aid,” Simon Nzioka explains.

On WASH the priority assistance provided includes the provision of adequate safe and clean water through vouchers, rehabilitation of existing water sources (boreholes) with adequate yield, provision of culturally appropriate hygiene promotion and treatment of household water through the provision and distribution of water purification tablets prioritizing the most vulnerable households targeting all gender classes.

The FSL and WASH projects being implemented by DRC are complementing each other with their integration actively supporting households to maintain their livelihood strategies while safeguarding key human rights. With this assistance, DRC is seeking to reach out to 16,149 households.

“By covering the emergency gaps in these sectors and increasing the communities’ capacity to respond to associated risks from the pre-famine situation in both Somaliland as well as in other areas of Somalia (South central, Puntland), we are ensuring that the most vulnerable populations are assured of lifesaving access and increasing their self-protection,” Simon Nzioka says.

DRC has been operating in Somalia since 1997 and continues to support the needs of displacement affected communities using an integrated approach of emergency and lifesaving programing that has included WASH, Shelter, Core Relief Items (CRI), Protection, Food Security and Livelihoods (FSL).

Source: http://reliefweb.int/report/somalia/drc-scales-response-somaliland-avert-possible-famine


As Sir Mo Farah fronts an appeal about starvation in East Africa, UK charity ShelterBox gears up to help the drought-hit nomads of Somaliland

Report from ShelterBox on reliefweb.int
Published on 16 Mar 2017
‘I was born in Somalia and it breaks my heart to hear stories of how families are suffering.’ As Olympian Sir Mo Farah calls the world’s attention to East Africa’s drought and famine, Cornwallbased ShelterBox is making partnership plans to help Somaliland familiesOn the day that the UK Government’s Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) launches an appeal for the millions of people who face starvation across East Africa, shelter experts from international disaster relief agency ShelterBox have just returned from Hargeisa in Somaliland with a plan to aid drought-affected nomadic families.

Somaliland is a self-declared state on the Horn of Africa. Diplomatically isolated, it is now facing famine after three years of failed growing seasons. In the next few weeks seasonal rains known locally as ‘Gu’ are predicted to be light or negligible, which could pitch many nomadic farmers into famine. Half their livestock, on which they rely entirely for food and income, have already died. The ShelterBox team reported that dehydrated carcasses of cattle, sheep and goats litter the landscape.

ShelterBox’s Operations Team Lead James Luxton, who has just returned to the UK from Hargeisa to mobilise the charity’s aid programme, says, ‘We are forming a partnership with an in-country partner organisation, and will supply the portable shelter element. This will most probably be Shelter Kits that we have stored in volume at our hub in Dubai. We also have items like mosquito nets and solar lighting that are lightweight and may be very helpful to families on the move.’

‘It is the widely and thinly scattered nomadic population, constantly on the move, that brings the greatest challenge here. Simply locating those in greatest need amid this vast open territory will be a task.’

‘The Gu rainy season in April is the main crop season in Somaliland. In the usual cycle it brings three quarters of the area’s annual rainfall. But for the last three years this corner of Africa has experienced the worst growing seasons on record. No rain means no pasture for the flocks and herds, which means nothing for people to eat or sell.’ Sir Mo Farah has thrown his support behind the DEC’s appeal to help the millions of people facing starvation in East Africa. The four-time Olympic champion, an ambassador for Save the Children, was born in Somalia and spent his early childhood there. He will be fronting video appeals across UK TV channels.

Mo says, ‘The drought is really bad and there are millions of children at risk of starvation. I was born in Somalia and it breaks my heart to hear stories of how families are suffering.’ The DEC’s appeal is to help starving populations in Somalia (including Somaliland and Puntland),
Kenya, Ethiopia and South Sudan. In February the UN formally declared a famine in parts of South Sudan – the first time in six years such an announcement has been made.

DEC chief executive Saleh Saeed says, ‘We are hearing that families are so desperate for food that they are resorting to eating leaves to survive. This is something no family should have to endure.
Unless we act now the number of deaths will drastically increase.’ NOTES TO EDITORS

Consequences of Drought in Somalia: November 2016

Report from UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

Published on 17 Nov 2016


The humanitarian situation in Somalia has become increasingly fragile towards the end of 2016, especially in the northern regions. 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, 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. Water levels in Juba and Shabelle rivers are below normal for this time of year due to limited rain in the Ethiopian highlands. Water levels are expected to decline further, putting further stress on communities dependent on irrigation for growing crops.

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. 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. A 20 per cent increase in number of people who cannot meet their daily food requirements was already registered in September 2016, up from 935,000 to 1.1 million in six months, according to the FAO-managed Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit (FSNAU). The nutrition situation has also deteriorated with over 320,000 acutely malnourished children in need of urgent nutrition support, including treatment for more than 50,000 who are severely malnourished and far more vulnerable than any other group. Water shortages may also trigger further outbreaks of water borne diseases. This follows a major outbreak of AWD/Cholera in the region in early 2016, with Somalia hit most severely, at a scale not seen in recent years. More than 13,600 cases of AWD/Cholera were registered from January to September 2016, up from 5,300 registered cases in 2015.

On 12 November 2016, the President of the Federal Government issued an appeal to all Somalis and the international community for support to drought stricken communities throughout the country. Appeals have also been issued by authorities in Jubaland (2 October), Puntland (5 October), and Somaliland (17 November).

The impact of the drought and the demand on humanitarian resources has been further magnified by a number of emerging crises, including an increase in conflict-related displacements and refugee returns from Kenya.

Source: Reliefweb.int

View original: here



Somalia: Lesson learned? An urgent call for action in the Horn of Africa, January 2017

Re-posted from reliefweb.int

January 21, 2017 4:18 PM

Source: Inter-Agency Working Group on Disaster Preparedness for East and Central Africa
Country: Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia
This paper was produced for a meeting of the Inter-Governmental Authority for Development (IGAD) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 19-21 January 2017


• The failure of the 2016 October-December rains across parts of the Horn of Africa has led to a devastating drought in Somalia, south-eastern Ethiopia, and northern and eastern Kenya. More than 15 million people in these three countries are facing food and water shortages, and famine is now a possibility in Somalia.

• The drought follows one of the strongest El Niño events on record, and many of the affected areas have seen the failure of successive rains, with cumulative impacts that have exhausted the coping strategies of vulnerable communities.

• Forecasts suggest the next rains in affected areas – expected from March-May – may also be below-average.

• In Somalia, 5 million people need humanitarian assistance. In Ethiopia, 5.6 million people need emergency food assistance and 9.2 million require safe water. In Kenya, 1.3 million people are facing food shortages.

• Since the 2010-11 hunger crisis in the region, much work has been done and concrete gains made in terms of preventing the worst impacts of drought. However, in the face of overwhelming climate shocks, humanitarian interventions are still urgently needed.

• Governments, donors and the international community must act quickly on the lessons learned in 2010-11 to protect the hard-won gains of recent years and prevent this crisis becoming a catastrophe. Time is running out.

View on Reliefweb.int: http://reliefweb.int/report/somalia/lesson-learned-urgent-call-action-horn-africa-january-2017


Somalia: Drought – 2015-2017 (Ongoing)

Re-posted from UN site reliefweb.int
Glide: DR-2015-000134-SOM


The 2015-2016 El Niño phenomenon had a severe impact on vulnerable people in Somalia – it worsened an already widespread drought in Puntland and Somaliland with a devastating impact on communities and their livelihoods, increasing food insecurity, cash shortages and resulting in out-migration and death of livestock. Those affects are now emerging in other areas of the country, specifically in Jubaland in the south. Somaliland and Puntland have experienced below average rains for up to four seasons, spanning two years, and affecting nearly 1.4 million people.

The findings of the Somalia Interagency Rapid Needs Assessment (SIRNA) undertaken in March 2016 confirmed that even in drought-affected areas where rains had alleviated water shortages, the reliance on uncovered sources for drinking, and the limited use of water treatment either at source or at the household level meant that water quality was of major concern. A more recent interagency assessment undertaken in Puntland in September 2016 highlighted that the situation has not changed markedly, but has not fully deteriorated due to concerted humanitarian response. The initial performance and remaining prospects of poor Deyr (October – December) rains does not bode well for all regions currently affected by drought, with nearly 150,000 people requiring access to safe water, hygiene kits, food and nutrition support, health services, emergency education, and temporary (OCHA, 28 Nov 2016)

Despite some increase in rainfall in Somalia during the last half of November 2016, drought conditions continue to be experienced in many parts of the country following the poor and erratic rain since late September. The negative trends are not expected to reverse until the arrival of Gu (April-June) rains next year. (FAO/FSNAU, 16 Dec 2016)

Original post: http://reliefweb.int/disaster/dr-2015-000134-som


Somalia: Call for Aid – Drought and El Niño (March 2016)

Re-posted from the UN site http://www.reliefweb.int


Severe drought exacerbated by El Niño conditions has hit parts of Puntland and Somaliland, affecting hundreds of thousands of people. Compounding an already challenging humanitarian situation in the area, this has brought the estimated number of people who face acute food insecurity in Somaliland and Puntland to 385,000 people. A further 1.3 million people risk slipping into acute food insecurity if they do not receive assistance. This brings the total number of people in need of some form of humanitarian assistance and livelihood support to 1.7 million, or 37 per cent of the 4.6 million people living in Puntland and Somaliland.

The drought conditions follow four successive seasons of below-average rains in parts of Somaliland (spanning two years), and a below-average Deyr rainy season in Puntland (OctoberDecember 2015). According to projections by Somalia Water and Land Information Management (SWALIM), there is an increased likelihood of nearnormal to below normal Gu rains (AprilJune) in Somaliland and northern parts of Puntland. This is expected to further negatively impact the drought situation and urgent life-saving humanitarian and livelihood support is required for people living in the drought-affected areas.

Currently, the drought is most severely and directly impacting pastoral and agropastoral communities – approximately three-quarters of the population – whose sources of food, income and water are diminishing and increasingly at risk. The below normal rainfall and drought conditions have led to a severe reduction in access to safe water and cereal harvest in Somaliland (87 per cent below the five-year average), largescale abnormal outmigration of livestock (including 60-70 per cent of households from the main inland pastoral areas of Puntland), and sharp increase in debt levels among poor households. The acute water and pasture shortages have caused pastoralists to migrate to areas with better conditions, resulting in increased competition and tension over scarce resources, and an overcrowding of animals that could increase the spread of contagious livestock diseases. Drought affected pastoralists from Ethiopia and Djibouti have also sought relief in the few remaining pastures, particularly in Awdal region of Somaliland, where rains were favourable in the last quarter of 2015. The most vulnerable pastoralists stayed behind, unable to afford the high cost of transport.

Continue reading “Somalia: Call for Aid – Drought and El Niño (March 2016)”