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Radio Ergo audience feedback report, 25 March 2022

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Drought and its consequences dominated the calls to Radio Ergo’s audience feedback platform again this week (16-22 March 2022). The biggest number came from northern regions, especially Togdher, Sanag and Sool, with an increase in calls from Puntland, Hiran, and Shabelle and Juba regions. Callers emphasised the difficulty in coping with the harsh conditions lacking water over such a prolonged period. Pastoralists said their animals were either dead or starving and sick.
Callers spoke of food shortages and rising prices and the lack of response to their appeals for aid or government intervention. Callers reported locust attacks in Togdher, Puntland, Mudug and Shabelle regions. The following summarises the calls by theme.

Water shortage and drought – Farmers in Sabawanag in Awdal region of Somaliland said they were suffering from severe drought. In Togdher, a caller in Awdanle said their livestock had not had water for days. Callers in Buhodle said all water sources were dry or broken. A female caller said she was among those displaced by water shortage and they needed aid organisations to help them. In Sahil, a caller said their livestock were starving to death and they needed aid. In Sanag, callers said their livestock were thin and weak. A female caller in Dararweyne said the drought had led to displacement, and another in Elafweyne said their livestock had died. In Sool, callers in Sabawanag said they were not getting even contaminated water and their lives were in limbo. A caller in Dudubka said drought was worsening and they needed aid: despite leaving messages on the Ergo platform before no help had come. A Somaliland caller said they were now feeding their livestock with sorghum as there was no vegetation. A caller on the border area between Somaliland and Ethiopia complained of drought, water shortage, and rising prices. Among callers from Puntland, a caller in coastal Bargal wanted to inform the government about the severity of the drought there. A female caller in Karkar said drought was widespread, water pumps were not working, and locusts had invaded. Callers said they were unable to sell their livestock due to their bad condition and low demand. In Galmudug, callers in different parts of Galgadud complained of lack of water and lack of government response. A female caller in Adado said people and animals had all been hit hard. Callers in Herale said they had been neglected by aid organisations. In Mogadishu, a caller in Weydow IDP camps said they lacked food and water. In Hiran, a caller in Beletweyne said their livestock were dying and aid agencies had not responded. In Bananey, a caller said the borehole water was sour. Another in Hirshabelle said the river water was green and they feared it would harm their livestock. Among the callers from Gedo region, one said he had never seen the likes of this drought in his area and animals were dying of drought and diseases. Among several callers from Lower Juba, a female caller in Afmadow said she had lost all her cows and that was her message.

Price rises – several callers noted rising prices, but calls specifically on this topic came from Bosasso and Galkayo. These callers said governments needed to stabilise prices for consumers.

Locusts – in Togdher, a caller in Burao said locusts invaded after they started to get a little rainfall. In Galkayo, a female farmer said their crops and produce had been damaged. A caller in Adale, M. Shabelle, said the locusts had invaded whilst they also faced water shortage. Most callers wanted help with locust control.

Livestock – there were several calls in response to programmes aired by Radio Ergo about very hungry livestock eating each other’s hair and ears. A female caller in Adado said she had seen this happening during the drought in 2017. One caller said his livestock were feeding on rocks and mud and were dying. A Galkayo caller wanted the veterinary experts to explain why his camels were eating bones. A caller in Burao raised the problem of plastic waste thrown in the environment, which became a greater danger to the goats during this period of hunger.