More than 240,000 people in Somaliland are severely food insecure due to a continuing drought in the region, 19 national and international aid agencies said here on Thursday.
(Star Africa)- More than 240,000 people in Somaliland are severely food insecure due to a continuing drought in the region, 19 national and international aid agencies said here on Thursday.
In a statement issued in Nairobi, the aid agencies said Somaliland is currently experiencing an acute drought that has affected more than 240,000 people (40,000 households) due to the shortfall of the April-June rains in 2014 and 2015.
The statement names the most affected regions as Awdal, Maroodijeeh, and Gebiley, which are traditionally the main food producing regions. Other regions affected include Selel and Sahil.
As a result of the failed rains, there has been poor crop production, acute shortage of water, and death of livestock – a key source of livelihood for communities in Somaliland.
In the statement, the humanitarian agencies said malnutrition is at its highest peak among infants, small children, the elderly, sick and other vulnerable groups.
According to Save the Children, malnutrition rates – especially for children under the age of five – are currently at alarming rates and are likely to increase further.
So far, thirteen deaths of children and elderly people have been reported, a number likely to rise if no immediate assistance is provided.
“We need to take note of the warnings that have been given and address the urgent needs of the people of Somaliland. As NGOs we need to work together with our donors to build communities’ resilience so that they can withstand the drought,” said François Batalingaya, World Vision Somalia Country Director in a joint statement issued under the aegis of the Somalia NGO Consortium.
The water shortage and rapidly drying pasture has led to an estimated 35 to 40 percent loss of livestock including camels, goats, sheep and cattle, said the statement.