A new Islamic Relief Worldwide project is to help vulnerable communities suffering from the severe drought that has been affecting Somalia.
The project, which has now received funding from the Consortium of British Humanitarian Agencies (CBHA), will focus on pastoral communities. It will directly help around 30,000 people affected by the drought in the three districts of Jariban, Harfo and the Galdogob of Mudug region in North Eastern Somalia.
Since December 2010 the rains have not arrived in Somalia as expected, in truth, there has been hardly any rain at all. Every five to eight years there begins a cycle of an atmospheric phenomenon called el Niño which causes extremely harsh conditions across much of the horn of Africa.
This cycle has been particularly harsh and has resulted in a severe drought which in turn has resulted in the failure of crops, lack of water for households as well as livestock.
By February the UN indicated that there were around 1.4 million internally displaces people in Somalia s a result of the drought. To compound this situation there had been no functioning government since 1991 and the conflict in the country for the past 20 years has made operating in Somalia highly complex.
The Islamic Relief project will prioritise assistance that benefits women, children and the elderly who are most vulnerable during droughts. We will therefore be focussing on water, sanitation and health intervention which will ensure families are able to access water for their households and also for their livestock. This will help to prevent the loss of livelihoods in the medium and longer term.