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Pastoralists leave drought-hit villages

This family has lost all their livestock to the drought

Thousands of nomadic pastoralists in the self-declared republic of Somaliland have abandoned their drought-affected villages and moved closer to urban centres, officials have said.

"More than 20 percent of the nomads have moved to the urban centres, [and are] living with their families in villages near towns," Mursal Askar Mire, the mayor of Eil-Afweyn District in Sanag Region, told IRIN.

The displaced, who have received aid from the Danish Refugee Council (DRC), were mainly in the Sool and Sanag regions, which are claimed by both Somaliland and neighbouring Puntland.

Roda Ahmed Yasin, a DRC sanitation officer, said the agency - through the Somaliland Red Crescent - had distributed non-food items to 1,800 families in Sanag, mostly in 12 centres in Erigavo District and 12 others in Eil-Afweyn District.

The aid recipients, he said, included families that had lost their livestock to the drought, and Ethiopian refugees heading to Bosasso en-route to countries in the Arabian Peninsula.

Mire, the Eil-Afweyn mayor, said the prolonged drought in Sool and Sanag regions had created a food and livelihood crisis.

Abandoned houses due to drought in Hamure village, Somalia.

Abdi Hassan/IRIN
Abandoned houses due to drought in Hamure village, Somalia.
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Some 3.5 million could need food aid by end of year
Abandoned houses due to drought in Hamure village, Somalia.

Photo: Abdi Hassan/IRIN
An abandoned village: Thousands of nomadic pastoralists in Somaliland have moved to urban areas to escape drought - file photo

"Non-food aid is welcome, but one of the main problems facing the people is lack of food; we would be happy to get food aid for those affected by drought," he said.

Severe drought has hit Sool and Sanag regions in the past few months following the failure of the `Gu’ rains. The most affected areas include Garab-cad, Beer-weito, Xamilka, Dararweyne, Dunuble, Dhabar Mabac, Kal-Qac, Kalsheeshk, Ceelmidgaan, Dhabar-dalool and Barigeli.

"The rains were not enough to counter the effects of the drought in the area but at least livestock deaths have stopped, even though nomads recently moved to Yufle area in Erigavo District where the rains were better," Mire said.


This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

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