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news | August 24, 2017 | Somalia | Emergency

ACTED Humanitarian response in Sanaag and Baidoa in Somalia

ACTED trained hygiene promoter, Kows, explains to mothers good hygiene practices in Awsane, Sanaag region, Somalia. ACTED distributes hygiene kits and water tabs to the affected areas to improve the water, sanitation and hygiene situation.

Fighting the drought in Sanaag

ACTED operations in Badhan, Sanaag Region, began on 14th December 2016 after a severe drought hit the region.

In response to the drought, ACTED provided water through water trucking to six villages in Badhan District, benefiting 1,500 households with each household receiving 45 liters of water per day.

“ACTED provided hygiene kits to the beneficiaries which contained soaps, jerricans and Aquatabs. Aquatabs are to be used in every 20 liter of water to purify it and make it clean and safe for drinking. Hygiene promotion exercises were also conducted to the beneficiaries on the importance of maintaining good hygiene practices and diseases that result from poor sanitation. 18 hygiene promoters were trained to create awareness among the communities,” Head of ACTED office for Sanaag region said.

After the much anticipated rains arrived, ACTED embarked on resilience programmes including rehabilitation of shallow wells and boreholes. So far, Habarshiro borehole has been rehabilitated and is serving as a great water source for the communities. In addition, 870 families were selected through community consultations for unconditional cash transfers to help them cope with the devastating effects of the drought. “Through the cash transfers, beneficiaries are able to buy food and attend to their most basic needs. It gives us joy to know that we have been able to save the day and secure their future.” This pogramme contributed to support food security in the region.

Kows comes from a village in Sanaag region. She is one of the people who have been trained in hygiene promotion and explains how the drought has affected her village.

“In our small village, people’s lives in the countryside are dependent on the availability of milk and meat: for food and for income. When the drought came, all the animals died and people started flocking to the village. Our conditions worsened leading to a scarcity of water and food. ACTED’s response was very timely and the community benefited from cash, which helped us buy food and water. That was a very big relief. We are grateful because so many lives were saved.”

Mohamed lives in a droght-affected village of Sanaag region:

“When the drought struck, and water sources depleted, all the animals died because of thirst and the people started relocating. ACTED came in at the right time and provided us with clean water which was treated. They also distributed hygiene kits including soaps, jerricans and tablets for purifying the water.”

Supporting the most vulnerable in Baidoa

ACTED’s office in Baidoa offers humanitarian support to the most vulnerable households. ACTED is present in both urban and rural Baidoa providing much needed humanitarian assistance to these communities.

Habibo, 70 years old, with seven children, is among thousands of families displaced by the drought and who sought refuge and help in Baidoa in order to get a better life. Habiba came from Ufurow, in Bay region.

“I walked from Ufurow, which is very far from here, with my children. On the way, our animals died of hunger and thirst. We experienced severe hunger because of lack of food and the farms had nothing because of the lack of rains. ACTED has really saved our lives. Since I received my cash, we were able to buy clothes, food, water and plastics to erect a makeshift to shield us from the scotching sun and the cold nights,” Habiba recounted.

Abdullahi, 71 years old, is blind, sitting in front of his hastily erected makeshift made from sticks and plastics. He speaks of the effects of the drought and his journey to Baidoa to flee the devastation.

Abdulahi is one of the lucky people who received monthly cash top ups valued at 57 USD which then enabled him access food from locally identified WFP food suppliers.

"I have seven children and I fled from Maanyow village in Bay region. The reason I came here was because all my cattle had been wiped out by the drought. I fled hunger and thirst because I wanted to stay alive. I am very grateful to ACTED who helped not only me but also all the people who came here looking for assistance and help. We were issued with vouchers which enabled us to access cash to buy food and other non-food commodities. The cash given to us has changed our lives tremendously. I hope that as long as the drought continues, the assistance will keep coming our way,” Abdullahi said.

Anenay, 47 years old, with five children from Manaas in Bay region

"We are experiencing one of the worst drought conditions in our country’s history. All my animals have perished and this was caused by lack of water. When I came to this camp for displaced persons, ACTED welcomed me. I was given 57 dollars each month for three months to enable access to food and other basic needs. I have used all the money to support my family and to make sure we survive the drought. I am currently collecting firewood from the bush and selling it to get more money to support my family. I have incurred a lot of debt in the process and I hope that as time goes by I will be able to pay them. I am also hoping to move from the makeshift to a better shelter to shield us better,” Aneenay said.