Due to the ever-changing climate of the world and the rising global warming, Somalia as
whole and Puntland, in particular, has been facing recurrent life-threatening droughts that have
affected the lives of millions of Somali nomadic pastoralists, farmers, refugees in IDPs camps
and poor urban dwellers.
Most regions in Puntland have not received the expected amount of rain for five
consecutive rainy seasons. During those five rainy seasons, it either has not rained at all or it was
very little. Hundreds of thousands of nomadic pastoralist families in Puntland and their livestock
depended on the water of the rain for drinking, cleaning and farming. Lack of water also means
lack of pasture for the livestock to graze. The absence of adequate water and pasture led to the
death of large number of livestock and the impoverishment of the livestock owners.
The moment this article is being written, the lives of countless people and domestic
animals is at stake. Rural families that we have visited told the Kaalo Nederland team that five to
ten goats die everyday of thirst, starvation and diseases caused by the prolonged deprivation of
In response to this emergency situation, Kaalo Nederland has implemented a Water
Trucking and Food Distribution project. This life-saving project which was funded by Wilde
Ganzen and the Somalia Diaspora in the Netherlands, has taken place in Budunbuto Village near
Dangorayo, Nugaal, Somalia.
The targeted number of beneficiaries in this project was 270 families (1,625 people).
Food packages containing three bags of rice, sugar and wheat flour was given to each family of
the beneficiaries. 150 tanks containing 10,000 liters of clean drinkable water each was also
distributed to these families. The food and water given to these families will offer a temporary
reprieve that will not last for more than a month. If it doesn’t rain in the next few weeks or these
drought-affected people don’t get more aid, their situation might worsen.
What we saw in the field
Kaalo Nederland’s team witnessed a very worrisome situation during the implementation
of this project. Our team visited the rural areas near Budunbuto village to look deeply into how
the drought affected the nomadic families living there. While travelling in that area, the team
crossed tens of hectares of dried land with no pasture and water. Besides the ‘Iyaxda’ area’s
naturally arid climate, the region has not received an adequate amount of rain for almost three
years, and this made it even drier, hotter and more treeless.
Furthermore, this “Iyaxda” region is highland which makes reaching the underground
water hard. There is no single borehole in not less than 200KM 2 , and subsequently, the people
living here and their livestock depend on rain water. When it doesn’t rain, the water is trucked
from very far places like “Biya-addo.” The lowest price one can get with a tank of tracked water
is $150! Too expensive to be afforded by a poor nomadic pastoralist family.
During their visit in the rural area, our team saw the dead bodies of countless domestic
animals mostly goats and sheep all over the road. They also saw living animals that became skin
and bones. The prolonged drought and the lack water and pasture weakened the livestock to an
extended that some of them cannot stand on their own once they sit. Some of these domestic
animals die of hunger and lack of strength in daily basis.
A more shocking view was the looks of the people in that rural area. Nomadic pastoralists
primarily depend on their livestock as a source of food. With no milk or meat from the herds of
goats and sheep they own, these people have nothing to eat other than a few spoons of white rice
with no soup, stew, vegetables or milk to add. Our team has seen very malnourished children,
elderly people and pregnant and lactating mothers. The view is just unimaginable and the people
are in a very bad situation.
Kaalo Nederland calls for the donors, humanitarian organizations, the Somali diaspora
community and everyone else who can make a contribution to help the rural societies with water
and food supplies. October and to December weather forecasts show that there might be a rain
shortage in the ‘Deyr’ season. We need to keep an eye on the situation and be ready with urgent
interventions incase things get worse. We would suggest that we put our focus on the food
security sector without halting the resilience and development projects.