Somalia Article

Somalia: Providing life-saving support to vulnerable flood-affected families in Baardheere

Somalia continues to face a multi-dimensional crisis shaped by conflict, drought, and climate shocks. This year, the effects of El Niño have impacted over 2.5 million people in the country, resulting in the displacement of 1.2 million people, the loss of 118 lives, damage of livelihoods, and a decrease in overall farms productivity.¹

Baardheere District, in Gedo region, was severely devastated by heavy rains and flash floods that started from October 2023 onwards, leading to the overflow of Juba River from its banks. Extensive floods have engulfed most of the villages of the town, causing loss of lives and damages to homes and infrastructure. In Baardheere, 14 people² lost their lives, and thousands have been displaced to IDP camps after their homes, properties, crops and livestock were destroyed. In October 2023, Acted has conducted a pre-flood assessment in Baardheere. The findings indicated that both host communities and internally displaced persons (IDPs) were equally vulnerable to frequent and severe floods, leading to livestock loss, crop destruction, and a significant decline in food security. Only 35% of the population could consistently meet basic needs across most assessed areas, while 41 out of 67 sites were poorly prepared for the impending floods. These findings underscored the urgent need for immediate humanitarian intervention to mitigate the flood impact.

Supporting vulnerable flood-affected households through unconditional cash transfer (UCT) in Baardheere district

In response to El Nino flood related shocks, and with funding from the Somali Humanitarian Fund (SHF), Acted is currently providing emergency food assistance to 1425 vulnerable, flood-affected households in Baardheere. The assistance is being provided through unconditional cash transfers (UCT). This project, titled “Provision of life-saving food assistance to flood-affected households in Baardheere within an enhanced coordination and information system”, will run from November 2023 to April 2024 to alleviate the suffering of the affected population in the immediate aftermath of the emergency. In total, over 8500 individuals, of which 3,215 IDPs (from five IDP sites) and 5,335 host and rural community members (from five host communities), have been targeted with a comprehensive life-saving package. This includes the provision of life-saving emergency food assistance, delivery of life-saving flood-related information, establishment of community-based response systems for flood-affected families, and support to the Baardheere humanitarian taskforce through an enhanced coordination mechanism and contingency planning.

Faduma’s flood-survival Story

Faduma Dhaay* is a 43-year-old mother of nine children and a former businesswoman living in Bulo-wariri village. Faduma and her family were severely impacted by the El-Nino floods, her home and properties were destroyed by heavy floods. Given these conditions, she was unable to remain in her village after her properties and livelihood were destroyed. With her family, she fled from the village and settled at Liiban IDP camp, located in the outskirts of Baardheere, to seek immediate lifesaving support. However, the lack of resources has made it challenging for her to meet her family’s basic needs. In November 2023, Acted reached 5 IDP sites, including Liiban camp where Faduma lived, to support with the provision of life-saving food assistance to flood-affected households in Baardheere.

Faduma met the selection criteria to become a targeted beneficiary and registered for unconditional cash transfer (UCT) for three cycles. By the end of December 2023, Faduma received two cash transfers, which enabled her to buy food to cover for her own basic needs and those of her family. Additionally, using her business experience, Faduma started a small business selling vegetables and sweets to generate income. In January 2024, she will receive the third cycle of UCT. Faduma is now more peaceful because she can provide for herself and her family. Faduma expressed her gratitude to Acted and its funded donor, the Somali Humanitarian Fund (SHF), for the lifesaving assistance and she stated that, thanks to this support, her life has positively changed.

This assistance has helped me to rebuild, thanks to Acted and its donor, we are now able to get three meals a day.

Faduma

The El Nino floods have had a devastating impact, particularly in the southwest part of the country. Many people, like Faduma, have lost everything. As the severe consequences of climate change continues to evolve, devastating impacts can become more frequent. In light of these challenges, continued assistance, through similar projects, is crucial to help vulnerable affected communities not only to recover but also to build resilience.

¹https://reliefweb.int/report/somalia/somalia-situation-report-26-dec-2023

²https://reliefweb.int/report/somalia/somalia-gu-rainy-season-2023-flash-floods-update-no-1-23-march-2023

*Name has been changed to protect privacy.

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