The dire consequences of the drought continued to preoccupy the majority of callers to Radio Ergo’s audience feedback platform in the first week of January 2022. Most calls from around the country raised a combination of issues of water shortage, lack of pasture and food, starving or dead animals, failed crops, displacement, and also indications of disease outbreaks among people and livestock. In terms of caller numbers, Togdher and Sanag in the north and Mudug and Galgadud in central regions were most prominent. Some callers notably in Sanag complained about locust invasions. The new COVID19 variant also caused concern for callers. The following summarises the calls by theme.
Drought and impact – In the north, drought and water shortage are biting and aid is needed was the message from callers in various parts of Togdher. In Sanag, callers said their livestock were thin and ailing and starving to death. People asked for their messages to be shared so they could get aid. A caller in Garadag a caller said an outbreak of diarrhoea was affecting children. In Sool, a caller in Kalabaydh said water had risen to three dollars a barrel. A caller in Karin said they had not had water for two days and people and livestock had diseases. Callers in various parts of Mudug said prolonged drought was killing tier goats and camels. Some spoke of being displaced and left stranded without aid. A caller in Wargalo said there wasn’t enough food for the families. A female caller in said they migrated to Hobyo but found there was no water. She said there was an outbreak of diarrhoea and the nearest hospital was 90km away in Galkayo. Another female caller in Budbud said they were displaced there from Galkayo, but there was no water and there were diseases including diarrhoea. In Galgadud, a caller in Adado said they had seen aid agencies once in the past five years. A caller in Abudwak said many people migrated there and there wasn’t enough water. In Hiran, one caller said his livestock were dying from lack of water, while a farmer in Buleburte said his crops had failed. A caller in Middle Shabelle said the river had dried up. A caller in Hudur said a jerrycan of water now cost $2.5. Callers in Kismayo said they needed help getting water and food.
Locusts – several callers in various parts of Sool region complained of locust invasions and asked for help in controlling them. Callers in Jidali, Elafweyn, and Erigabo also said the drought and water shortage were severe. Callers in Nugal and Mudug also reported locusts.
COVID19 – callers in various regions had questions to the Radio Doctor about the Omicron variant of the virus, and about the vaccine, and ways to recognise symptoms of the disease. A female caller in Sanag said the disease was widespread there and two people had died in her area.