This drought - said to be the worst in 60 years - has caused a food crisis in Somaliland which threatens thousands. There is starvation, disease and death. The human suffering is reaching horrific proportions and the famine will spread even further if humanitarian organization fail to step in," he stated.
According to Farah, the water shortage is visible everywhere in the Sanag and Sool regions which the NPO visited in the last week. "Most of the water walls have collapsed and needs to be reconstructed. Women and children are walking for kilometers to fetch water with donkeys. Some wells are open and must be closed to prevent it from being contamination by defecation from both animals and human beings."
As for the displaced, he wrote: "The displaced don’t have latrines. They use open areas for this purpose, which will cause further health hazards in their host communities. People are constantly on the move to search for food and water. Most of them have lost their livestock. I know some families who once had a herd of 300, which has now wittled down to only 11."
Meanwhile, the NPO continues to provide wherever possible, thanks to international donations. In the last week they provided families 150 families in El Afwein and two surrounding villages - Hamilka and Beerweeso - with food for the month. This included rice, wheat flour, vegetable oil, as well as plastic sheeting for shelter. But the need grows daily. "People must be trained about hygiene and water born diseases, amongst others. The needs are vast, the biggest of which is the need for food and clean water. Many, many are malnourished."
Numbers swell daily
As the famine in Africa grows, hundreds of families from south-central Somalia who have sought refuge in the self-declared independent Republic of Somaliland lack food, shelter and water, say local officials. Most of the 276 families - about 1,650 people - are in the town of Las-anod in Sool region, neighbouring south-central Somalia.
"At least 10 families arrive in Las-anod daily; some pass through to other towns in Somaliland but many remain here," Khadra Mohamed, secretary-general of Somaliland's internally displaced persons (IDP) organization, told IRIN. "Some of the new arrivals are [staying] with conflict-displaced Somalis who have been living in the town for the last several years. These people have no food or shelter.
However, Mohamed said, local communities have been providing food aid to the new arrivals. "These families have little access to health services, some of them lost their children during their long journey to Somaliland,” Mohamed added. Abdillahi Jama, governor of Sool region, told IRIN: "Those arriving are registered by local NGOs who inform us weekly. In the past three days, for example, between 10 and 20 families have arrived in Las-anod.
"Most end up living with families who have been displaced by past conflict in south-central Somalia, expanding the number of people per IDP family to 10-20. We collect some assistance from the local people and encourage them to help, because they are our brothers and sisters displaced by the drought," Jama said. "Our capacity is limited and we can do little to help them."
Zainab H. Mohamoud, head of the Gashan Women’s Umbrella Organization, said in Buroa, Togdheer region, several families had fled drought; some went to Hargeisa and others to the town of Buhotle in Buhotle region. Mohamoud told IRIN that at least 23 families from south-central Somalia reached Buroa, 70 people had reached Buhotle and 12 went to Hargeisa.
Meanwhile, as if a punishing drought and famine was not bad enough, residents of Hargeisa in Somaliland on the 2nd day of Raman were woken up by an earthquake at 2.27am. According to SomalilandPress, the quake lasted for 25 seconds. Earlier in the evening, another powerful earthquake sent panic stricken residents storming into the street. No damage had been reported at the time of going to press and the magnitude of the earthquake was still unknown since the country does not have any geological surveys.
As Somalia descends into another of the troughs of violence and famine that have marked this ultimate failed state for 20 years, Somaliland on its northern horizon is one of the most successful new countries in Africa, writes analyst Jonathan Manthorpe in an opinion piece published in the Vancouver Sun. Somaliland broke away from Somalia after the old dictator, Siad Barre, was ousted by clan warlords at the end of January 1991, and has since quietly constructed a robust, functioning state that is also the only vibrant Islamic democracy in the broader region of North Africa and the Middle East.
But Somaliland is not recognized internationally as an independent nation, which may, perversely, largely account for its success. The country's 3.5 million people and its large diaspora of exiles and emigrants in Europe, North America and the Gulf States have had to rely on their own resources and are immensely proud of their accomplishments.
Non-recognition also means they have been spared the manipulative outside interference that has often only made matters worse in Somalia to the south. Even so, it has not been an easy ride creating Somaliland. There have been border wars with Puntland to the southeast, another breakaway region from the old Somalia, and creating an economy with traction has been a struggle.
A major element in the economy, according to the World Bank, is the estimated $1 billion overseas Somalilanders remit each year to their families at home. Otherwise Somaliland survives on a simple economy based on the export of beef cattle and camels to the Middle East. Experts say the consequences of the drought and famine will severely impact on such exports.
In May 1991 Somaliland declared its independence, an event VOC covered. "While democracy in Somaliland is not perfect, it has the attributes of being entirely homegrown; far more representative, open and accountable than most African countries can claim; and as such is unique among entirely Muslim countries of the Middle East and North Africa," Manthorpe wrote. VOC
Source: Voice of the cape (VOC)