Three Cows and a Handful of Goats
Published April 12, 2016 by Abdullatif Osman Abby
Abdullahi Mohamed Jama standing next to one of his deceased cows
Not so long ago, Abdullahi Mohamed Jama was proud to boast about his 20 cows and around 400 sheep and goats. The father of seven was among the wealthiest residents in his village, making a living out of the milk and meat from his large herds.
That was before the current drought affecting northern parts of Somalia.
Now, he is left with only three cows, and a handful of goats. As the primary caretaker for his family, the consequences of this loss are enormous.
“There is not a single sheep in the herd,” he says with despair. “With little prospects of a rainfall sometime soon, I’m not even sure the remaining animals will survive.”
Standing by the remains of a cow he owned, Abdullahi recalls vivid memories of a life that was once easy and serene. Goats and sheep would graze in the open plains and drink water from the nearby well. Selling livestock was easy. But for the last two seasons, the residents of the area have received no rain.
Abdullahi’s village – Meeladeen – in the northern part of Somalia, is among those that have been the worst hit by the El Niño related drought.
“The remaining animals don’t even have enough energy to walk, so we collect animal fodder for them,” Abdullahi explains. Him and his fellow villagers are afraid that once the livestock perish, their own lives will be in danger.
Abdullahi is however optimistic that if help comes quickly enough to his drought-stricken village, many lives will be saved.
“We depended on our livestock for their meat, milk, and cash from their sales,” he said. “Food is a pressing need for people here now. We urgently need money to buy food, water and other basic necessities. We need a new source of income.”
What you can do
Adeso is preparing to provide 1,750 families with a cash transfer to help them meet their immediate food and water needs and be better prepared to recover once the rains come.
HELP FAMILIES LIKE ABDULLAHI’S WHO ARE SUFFERING EVERY DAY AS A RESULT OF THIS DROUGHT AND FOOD CRISIS.
$285 could provide Abdullahi’s family with access to food and water for a month