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news | March 06, 2012 | Somalia | Emergency

Southern Somalia: Three areas still affected by food insecurity

Irrigation pumps are used to facilitate agricultural production.

NAIROBI – [ACTED News] – While the food security situation has recently improved throughout much of Southern Somalia, three areas continue to experience famine-level conditions of food insecurity, malnutrition and mortality. In those areas where food availability and accessibility has improved, communities’ recovery is still extremely fragile, and dependent on continued humanitarian support to the most vulnerable households. The recent crisis has affected not only the nutrition and welfare of vulnerable households, but also their livelihoods, including their ability to generate an income and engage in agricultural production. Households have suffered crop losses as a result of drought and subsequent flash floods, while their ability to invest in materials and equipment for agricultural activities has been decimated by reduced income and rapidly rising prices.

In the wake of the devastating famine in Southern Somalia, farmers need to rebuild their livelihoods and productive capacity.

A recently completed project by ACTED has supported farmers’ cooperatives to responding to these pressing needs by supporting livelihood recovery and distributing 93 irrigation pumps to facilitate increased agricultural production. Irrigation pumps and training in their use have been provided to farmers’ cooperatives, typically composed of eight households, organized at the community level. ACTED has ensured that vulnerable households are prioritized to support their recovery from the effects of the emergency, and promote long-term food security for members. In target areas, irrigation pumps distributed by ACTED have been used to irrigate fodder crops, which in turn support improved livestock quality by providing food in periods of shortage, and household income generation through sales. Increased crop production and improved agricultural techniques such as the use of irrigation pumps helps build communities’ long-term food security and resilience to climatic shocks.