Somaliland: Djibouti Responds to President Silanyo’s Drought Relief Appeal

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Salal/Awdal regions drought has not spared livestock/fileSAYLA (Somalilandsun) – The government of Djibouti has donated 450 tons of assorted drought relief items.

The donation that was delivered to Somaliland authorities by RAMAD and carted to the Lowya’ade border point by 15 trucks, consisted of Rice, Flour, Cooking oils and plastic bags for house covering.

According to officials of the Djibouti based Local NGO of RAMAD, the donation comes as a response to the appeal made recently by the Somaliland president H.E Ahmed Mahmoud Silanyo where he asked Somalilanders wherever they are, Local and international NGO’s as well as friendly governments to donate towards relief of drought affected residents especially those from some districts of Salal and Awdal regions in the west of the country.

In his statement of appeal President Silanyo had said “As predicted earlier in the year, the GU rains have been generally below normal and uneven in 2012. While some parts of the country received good rains, they were patchy in others, and there are zones where it did not rain at all. The areas most affected by the poor GU rains are the coastal stretches of Awdal, Salal, Sahil and Sanaag regions where rains missed for three consecutive years. It is estimated that up to 20,000 households have been affected. These people require emergency assistance in food, water, medical care and shelter. If we do not respond and attend to their needs immediately, we might be losing many of them, particularly the most vulnerable, the young and the old, to starvation and dehydration. Day time temperatures in the coastal areas exceed 40°C this time of the year. Hence, we appeal to the international community: the UN agencies, and international NGOs; our local NGOs and public at large to take action urgently in order to save lives in the drought affected areas. We are confident that together we will rise to the challenge and meet our obligations”.

Apart from donations from Somalilanders in the country and the Diaspora, the 450 tons consignment from Djibouti is the first from either a friendly government or Non-governmental organization. The RAMAD Organization that was entrusted with the donation by the Djibouti government is a local NGO owned by Salal and Awdalites living and working in the tiny Horn of Africa country.

According to reports from the government owned DAWAN Media group the Salal region officials who received the donation from RAMAD at the Lowya’ade border point between Somaliland and Djibouti said the food and traditional house construction items arrived at the opportune time for the drought effects are about to completely destroy livelihoods of the Affected.

While thanking the Djibouti Government for its largesse and show of good neighbourliness The Salal regional officials who were accompanied by the recently established Salal/Awdal drought relief committee informed that the Djibouti donation will immediately be distributed among 680 households that are most affected from Lughaya and Gargaara districts that have borne the brunt of three years relentless drought.

A report released by a drought fact finding team from Amoud Foundation for Horn of Africa, that visited Salal and Awdal regions, over 150,000 pastoralists in the coastal area of Somaliland are affected by the drought and need immediate humanitarian assistance.

The reports adds that the drought has caused the deaths of dozens of people, the displacement of 90% of the population from their villages, and millions of dollars’ worth of damage to livestock and agriculture. Although the most concern is the coastal areas of Awdal, Salal, and Gabile, the pastoralists of remote places of Guban (mountain area) were also reported to be suffering from severe hunger.

The Salal/Awdal drought outcry was first made public by traditional leaders, intellectuals and government leaders from the two regions meeting in Borame where they had converged in order to strategize on ways to help residents of Lughaya and Gargaara districts recover from a devastating 3 years drought.

The Borame meeting that also revealed that the affected residents are not only suffering from the effects of the prolonged drought but are encountering various health problems ended with the establishment of the Salal/Awdal drought relief committee.

This committee has so far managed to solicit donations from several sources among them politicians and affluent citizens as well as ordinary Somalilanders who submit their contributions that start with US$1 and above electronically through ZAAD account #4587330. This account is still active for those wishing to contribute.

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