Calls about the worsening impact of the ongoing drought across the country constituted the bulk of the audience feedback gathered from Radio Ergo’s independent call-in platform this week (6-12 January 2022). Many of the callers from across the country spoke of food shortage as well as water scarcity and asked for aid from agencies or government or other Somali communities. Callers described combinations of stress factors including displacement, deaths of livestock, human and animal diseases, and rising prices. Some callers noted conflict over resources between local and incoming migrating communities. The following summarises the calls by theme.
Drought and water crisis – in Somaliland, callers said the drought and water shortage were worsening and they needed aid. A female caller in a northern region said she was desperate as their few livestock had died and her husband who was the income earner was sick. Drought-displaced people living in Balli-Mataan camp south of Hargeisa appealed for help. Other callers said prices were rising and livestock were not selling. One caller said a kilo of potatoes cost two dollars, and beans cost three dollars. A caller in Ballidhig, Togdher, said they were suffering from drought and water shortage and livestock diseases had broken out. A caller in Awr-bogeys, Sanag, said many people had migrated into the area and were cutting down trees without any control. In Dhahar, a caller said the inward migration of people had caused conflict over scarce resources and government intervention was needed. Several callers in Sool asked for help with water. A female caller said available water was bitter and they needed tractors to dig water catchments. Callers in parts of Puntland said conflict was exacerbating the drought situation. There were large numbers of calls from Mudug. Various callers in Jarriban said they were short of food as well as water and livestock were thin and could not be sold. One said they wanted either cash or food aid. A female caller in Budbud said they had moved from Galkayo looking for water, their livestock were sick and there was diarrhoea among the people. Among the callers from Galgadud, one caller in Landow-dowle said they lacked water and food and had not seen any aid organisations. In Hiran, callers said water and food were short in El Gal and Jalalaqsi. Noticeable this week was a comparatively high number of callers from parts of Bay region, including Baidoa, Baynunay, El-doon, and Qansahdhere. Some said they had been displaced from other areas and had no water and other basics. Among callers in Gedo, farmers in Beledhawo said the river they depended on had dried up. A caller in Beyle near Burdhubo said he feared the drought would turn to famine there.
Livestock – among the calls from herders about livestock diseases, there were several asking whether livestock diseases can affect humans. Some were concerned about the spread of disease from unvaccinated herds migrating into their areas.
Locusts – there were a few callers about locust invasions, from parts of Sanag, Bari, M. Shabelle and L. Juba. A farmer in Afmadow said their banana plantations had been invaded by the locusts. Those in the north wanted aerial spraying in their areas.
COVID19 – calls came from Puntland and Mudug, with some people saying they had the disease and others seeking advice on symptoms and vaccines.