Somaliland ravaged by crippling drought, with families left without food or income

PHOTO: AWD and cholera have claimed the lives of some 730 people across Somalia in 2017. (ABC News: Sally Sara)

The self-declared state of Somaliland is ravaged by one of the worst droughts on records.

Hundreds of thousands of cattle have died, leaving families without income or food. More than 3.2 million people across Somaliland and Somalia need urgent food aid.

The drought has led to outbreaks of deadly diseases, such as cholera and Acute Watery Diarrhoea (AWD).

Hundreds of thousands of children are also suffering from malnutrition.

Somaliland declared independence from Somalia in 1991.

It has its own government, security forces and currency. But, it has failed to gain recognition from the international community.

It is now struggling to secure enough aid to keep hundreds of thousands of hungry citizens alive.

Somaliland is home to an estimated 4.4 million people. Many are pastoralists, relying on cattle for their income and survival.

Unlike Somalia, which has been wracked by terrorism, Somaliland has not had a major attack since 2008.

Some families have lost up to 90 per cent of their livestock because of the drought, leaving them without income, assets or food.

More than 50,000 cases of suspected cholera and AWD have been reported in Somalia and Somaliland since January.

A state of emergency was declared in the city of Burao, which has been hit hard by the outbreaks.

Women and children are the most vulnerable. More than 3.2 million people are in urgent need of assistance.

On average, families are spending more than half of their income on drinking water, because of the drought. Rains have failed to provide adequate supply for the past two years.

More than 700,000 people have been displaced by drought and hunger. Many have gathered in vast camps for Internally Displaced People (IDPs), where they are hoping to receive emergency food and water.

More than 1.4 million children in Somalia and Somaliland are at risk of acute malnutrition.

The hospital at Burao is dealing with three times as many suspected cases of cholera and AWD compared to last year. It has run out of funds to provide free treatment.

The staff haven’t been paid in the past month.

More than 730 people have died of suspected cholera and AWD across Somalia since January.

Media player: “Space” to play, “M” to mute, “left” and “right” to seek.

VIDEO: Somaliland ravaged by crippling drought (ABC News)

If you wish to help those battling drought in Somaliland, donations can be made through Care Australia or through Australian Red Cross.


Leave a Reply