Friday, June 23

739,000+ Somalis displaced by drought since 11/16; 6.2m now food 'insecure'

This report isn't only about drought and displacement of human populations, it's also about the ongoing destruction of pastoralism, as huge numbers of livestock die from starvation and lack of water. 

There's a helpful interactive map accompanying the article below at the News Deeply website, which shows region-by-region "displacement flows" and "food insecurity" and its level of severity. A lot of information at a glance. 

Now is it possible for pastoralists to beat the devil by staying in place -- giving up, at least for a time, their nomadic way of life -- and growing their own grass for their livestock? It's being tried in Kenya. See this U.S. News & World Report article, which I'll also be featuring in a separate post.  
June 20, 2017
News Deeply/Refugees Deeply

With 17 million people crippled by drought in the Horn of Africa, Samuel Hall researchers and photographer Ashley Hamer explain the realities of climate-induced displacement in Somalia on World Refugee Day.

PUNTLAND, SOMALIA – “Our world of plenty today faces an unprecedented four famines,” anti-poverty group Oxfam said in late May, as the leaders met for the G7 summit in Sicily, which is once again the gateway for most refugees to Europe.

Along with northeastern Nigeria, South Sudan and Yemen, Somalia is faced with a particularly dire situation, which highlights the growing nexus between climate change and displacement.

Somalia has consistently produced one of the largest refugee and internally displaced populations in the world, due to a combination of conflict, environmental degradation, drought and famine.

With over half of the country’s population experiencing food and water shortages, the Somali president declared the ongoing humanitarian crisis a “national disaster” in February.
Displaced by Drought

In April this year, while traveling through the Dangoroyo district in Eastern Puntland, an autonomous region in Somalia, our research team at Samuel Hall met Ahmed*, a pastoralist, though this job description barely applies to him these days.

Having been a herdsman all his life, Ahmed, who knows no other means of making a living, lost 90 percent of his 150 animals as a consequence of the current drought in the Horn of Africa.

“The drought forced me to move from the place where I lived and herded my livestock … just look at the scale of devastation and deprivation,” said Ahmed, who is the head of his household. “We are up against one of the worst situations I have witnessed or even heard of.”

The result of three years of failed rains, the current drought, deemed the worst to hit the region in decades, forcibly displaced Ahmed to a nearby village where he is barely surviving.

The scenes of helplessness among pastoralist families as they watch their sources of sustenance waste away reveal extraordinary suffering. In a country where livestock is the largest contributor of livelihoods that engages at least 65 percent of the population, the perishing of 80 percent of animals in the country has brought devastation.

Some people have lost every single animal, and there are reports of suicide among hopeless herders. The rapidly deteriorating situation is reminiscent of the 2011 drought in Somalia, which resulted in a famine that claimed 260,000 lives.


There's lots more in the report, and lots more reports about the refugee/migration crisis, at News Deeply  


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