The majority of calls to Radio Ergo’s feedback platform from around the country this week (23-29 December 2021) were about the severe drought and prevailing conditions including lack of water, shortage of food, sickness and death of livestock, migration of pastoralists, and strained livelihoods. Callers in Sanag complained of invasions of locusts despite the drought. There were calls for aid from those affected by the recent conflict in Bari region. There was also an increase in the number of calls about COVID19 giving an indication of a rise in cases in some regions. The following summarises the calls by theme.
Drought and water crisis – among the calls from Somaliland, a caller in Togdher said prices had risen due to the drought and whilst nobody had died yet, people were on the brink. Calls from Sanag reflected the migrations to and from different areas by drought-hit families. A caller in Dhomo said they faced water shortage and disease and many had left for places like Bari. A caller in Awr-bogeys said theirs was the only well with water in the area and many people had migrated there with their camels. Another in Sanag said the people being displaced had no aid and were living in shacks. In Sool, a caller in Lasanod said food prices had risen due to shortages. A caller in Sarar urged locals to welcome those who had arrived seeking water and fodder. In Puntland, callers in various parts of Bari said they had no water, their livestock had died, and there was no employment. A caller in Elmadobe said the only water left was unfit to drink. There were many callers from across Mudug and Galgadud speaking of lack of water and calling for aid. A caller in Dalsan, Galgadud, said their livestock and their farms had both been hit hard. A female caller in Lashordhere said she had been left behind as the children’s father and brothers had gone to the town for medical treatment. Three female callers in Beletweyne, Hiran, said the river water levels were dropping, the water was dirty, and food prices had risen.
A farmer in Jowhar, M. Shabelle, said they had planted when it rained but the rainfall was little and the crops had failed. There were several calls from farmers in Baidoa saying their farms were failing due to drought. Among the callers in Gedo, one in Dollow said he had lost his 25 cows. Another said goats, camels, and even antelope were dying. In Lower Juba, a caller described seeing dead livestock arounds and smelling the carcasses. A female caller in Kismayo said they had no water and the children were sick. Another caller in a rural part of Kismayo said the rain had come but 90 per cent of people had lost their animals and most had migrated to the town or elsewhere.
Locusts – callers in Sanag, including Erigabo and El-afweyne, described swarms of locusts invading even though there was little to no vegetation due to the drought.
Conflict displaced – a caller in Kalabaydh, Sool, said they had fled the conflict in Bosasso leaving everything behind and they needed help. A female caller in Qardho, Bari, said people who had fled from Bossaso were sleeping rough in the street there and they also had no water.
Another caller in Bari said the conflict and displacement had exacerbated the existing problems caused by the drought.