A Frightening Drought Dries Up Pasture, Decimates Livestock

Published April 19, 2016 by Abdullatif Osman Abby

Maymun Ismail Saeed, a 60-year-old widow and mother of eight, lives in Kob Dhehaad village

In the Bari region of Somalia, local residents are facing one of the worst droughts they have experienced in recent years. Two consecutive failed rainy seasons are wreaking havoc on pastoral communities, robbing them of their livelihoods and way of life. Grazing lands, water catchments, and dams have all dried up, and animals are suffering. Many of them are even too weak to walk.n the Bari region of Somalia, local residents are facing one of the worst droughts they have experienced in recent years. Two consecutive failed rainy seasons are wreaking havoc on pastoral communities, robbing them of their livelihoods and way of life. Grazing lands, water catchments, and dams have all dried up, and animals are suffering. Many of them are even too weak to walk.

Maymun Ismail Saeed, a 60-year-old widow and mother of eight, lives in Kob Dhehaad village, 90 km southeast of the port city of Bosaso. Maymun’s family depends on her and the livestock she rears for a living.

Every day, she wanders a few kilometers in the hopes of finding pasture for her herd to graze on. The heat in this region is unforgiving and harsh, and these walks are tiring for both Maymun and her livestock.

“Sometimes, the livestock cannot move, so we have to collect fodder for them, and feed them with our hands,” she says.

Although the family used to own 20 goats, they lost half of the herd to the drought and subsequent disease. Apprehensive about the future, Maymun recalls a better time when her livestock had plenty of land to graze on and water to drink, and when her family could depend on them for food, milk and butter. 

In search of water

With the drought, the family’s nearby source of water has become contaminated, leaving them without clean water.

“We have a water well in the village, but its water isn’t potable. It infects livestock with diarrhea. Every day, one or two animals die.”

The closest well is 30 km away from Maymun’s village. Traveling all the way there is expensive, so Maymun is forced to buy water at USD 3 a barrel from a local seller. But even that is a huge expense for her family, and one that she won’t be able to afford much longer.

Maymun would like to see fresh, potable water distributed to her village, to help families and their ailing livestock thrive amidst this severe drought.

“We’re in dire need of water,” she says. “Our livestock cannot persevere in the harsh drought conditions for another week. They will all be gone; so will be people, unless they leave their lands and move to urban centers.”

What you can do

Adeso is preparing to provide 1,750 families with a cash transfer of $200 to help them meet their immediate food and water needs and be better prepared to recover once the rains come.

HELP FAMILIES LIKE MAYMUN’s WHO ARE SUFFERING EVERY DAY AS A RESULT OF THIS DROUGHT AND FOOD CRISIS.

$70 could provide a one-month supply of water to Maymun’s family.

PLEASE DONATE TODAY.