Devastating Drought in Somalia

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Somalia is facing vulnerability to drought and it is affecting millions of lives. 

Somalia, officially the Federal Republic of Somalia, which is a country in Africa, is currently fighting a drought.

According to new figures released by UNHCR (the UN Refugee Agency), one million people have been displaced by drought in Somalia.

Somalia is experiencing its driest season in about 40 years, impacting more than 7 million lives. More than one million people have to flee to camps that are not far from where the Al-Qaeda-linked terror group Al-Shabaab is fighting to maintain its territory.

drought in somalia
Image Source: BBC News

Extreme climate crises, causing little to no rainfall, are the cause of drought and disease. Northern areas recorded 30 to 60 percent of the average rainfall, while the central and southern areas received 45 to 75 percent – marking the fourth consecutive failed rainy season since late 2020.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) official reported that the situation in Somalia was already one of the most underfunded even before the drought.

According to the University of Notre Dame’s Global Adaptation Initiative ranking, Somalia is ranked second highest globally in terms of climate vulnerability based on 2019 data.

Recently, a two-year-old malnourished child named Abdiwali died from hunger in a small Somali hospital. His mother, Hawa, 22, said that they didn’t have any food to feed him and their neighbours had been helping them. She said that her son had been growing weaker and had a fever and diarrhoea.

drought in somalia
Abdiwali wrapped in a thermal blanket | Image Source: BBC News

Overnight, Abdiwali’s condition deteriorated. Soon after nine the next morning, his temperature fell sharply, and two Somali doctors quickly wrapped him in a thermal blanket.

After an hour, around 10.13 a.m., the boy was no more. The doctor informed the family that there was no pulse to be found even after repeated stimulation.

drought in somalia
Hawa with her 2-year-old son and her daughter, Image Source: BBC News

The 2-year-old Abdiwali was buried on the far edge of Laden Camp. Even though in their culture, women do not attend funerals, the mother of Abdiwali, Hawa, stayed with her son till he was buried and sat in the graveyard watching her son closely.

According to the reports, the family was quite well off before the drought.


Read More: China, Europe, US drought: Is 2022 The driest year?


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