Cyclical patterns of erratic weather conditions, climatic causes of displacement, political instability and a rise in conflict — including due to the highly contentious election process and disputes over natural resources (land, water, pasture) — have deepened Somalia’s protection crisis.
Water challenges in Somalia oscillate between water shortages and drought-like conditions, and flash floods and river breakages. As communities struggle to cope with the impact of COVID-19 and the desert locust infestation in a context of protracted armed conflict, insecurity and political instability, pre-drought conditions seen across various parts of the country add an additional layer of complexity, further driving communities to adopt negative coping mechanisms.
In the first quarter of 2021, more than 34 districts in Somalia were already facing devastating water shortages, over 95,000 Somalis were displaced by droughtlike conditions since December 2020, and at least 3.4 million people were projected to be affected by drought or drought-like conditions by year end, of whom around 380,000 are expected to be displaced due to droughtlike conditions and dry season.
The poor weather patterns are expected to continue due to La Niña conditions and a second consecutive season of below-average rainfall with below-average Gu rainfall season forecast from April to June. The impact of drought and livelihoods situation will be exacerbated by the continuation of the desert locust infestation which is forecast to continue spreading following reports of newly formed immature swarms breeding in the northern parts of the country. Progressively, widespread food security Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are expected through September 2021.
Efforts therefore need to be bolstered to provide communities access to sustainable and climate-resilient water services. This means investing in short, medium and long-term solutions that withstand climate shocks. To address the immediate lifesaving needs of affected populations, urgent and collective action is required to mitigate the worse impacts of the various shocks. Complementary to the 2021 Humanitarian Response Plan, the Emergency Response and Preparedness (ERP) outlines detailed State-level response and preparedness contingency plans to operationalize and optimize the speed and volume of critical assistance delivered immediately after the trigger of an identified slow-onset or sudden-onset humanitarian of three key shocks: drought, conflict and flooding at both the State and Federal level.