MOGADISHU (SD) – UN has announced that about 2.6 million people in Somalia were affected by the drought, calling for urgent action to prevent a catastrophe in Somalia amid a looming drought barely a day after Somali government declared a state of emergency on Tuesday over the deadly drought in the Horn of Africa nation.
“In addition, 1.2 million children under the age of five are projected to be acutely malnourished by the end of the year, with nearly 213,400 of them severely malnourished,” the statement reads in statement.
The agency said the deteriorating drought situation has compounded an already protracted crisis in Somalia, where the number of people who need humanitarian assistance is forecast to rise by 30% from 5.9 million to 7.7 million in 2022.
“Our staff in the field are witnessing dried up water sources, no crops and no pastures, animals dying and people moving away from their communities after losing their livestock. Those who cannot afford to pay for water and food face the prospect of dying of hunger and lack of water,” said Mohamud Mohamed Hassan, Save the Children’s Country Director in Somalia. “This is an unsustainable situation for the people of Somalia. Somalis are resilient, they are adaptive, but no-one can adapt quickly to such dramatic changes in the climate.”
In a separate statement, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Wednesday called for urgent help for Somali people as nearly a quarter of the Horn of Africa nation is “struggling to feed itself due to an ongoing drought.”
“Hundreds of water sources have dried up, and countless animals and crops have died as the result of the intensifying drought,” Save the Children said in a statement.
“Many families no longer have access to food and safe drinking water and have lost their life savings in the deaths of their livestock. In some areas, water prices have skyrocketed,” the statement added.
Severe drought is gripping most of Somalia as seasonal rains failed for the third time since late 2020, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
On Tuesday, Somalia’s prime minister declared a state of emergency over the deadly drought in the Horn of Africa nation.
Somalia is on the frontline of climate change and has experienced 30-plus climate-related hazards since 1990, including 12 droughts and 19 floods, the UN.