By: Yusuf M Hasan
Somalilandsun- FAO’s Rapid Results Drought Response Plan addresses the most time-sensitive needs of rural families across Somalia. In 2016, Somalia’s two main rainy seasons were poor, both Gu (April-June) and Deyr (October- December). Drought has been declared across the country: from the north’s largely pastoral arid lands, down through the central and southernmost breadbaskets. By December 2016 – following the poor Deyr rains – conditions worsened, with most of the country experiencing severe to extreme drought. The Jilaal dry season follows from January to March 2017. This is the driest and hottest time of year in Somalia. During these harsh months, rural families rely on remaining water and pasture from the preceding rainy season, and food and income from the preceding harvest. This Jilaal, however, pastures, wells and grain stores will be largely barren.
Drought has now spread across all of Somalia. The crisis first manifested in the north – in Somaliland and Puntland. In late 2015, both governments declared drought and appealed to the international community for assistance. By then, parts of Somaliland had already experienced poor rains for two years. Drought was the most severe manifestation of the 2015/16 El Niño in Somalia, which brought increased rainfall to parts of southern and central Somalia and depressed rains in the north. Effective early warning and early action – such as the repair of broken river embankments led by FAO and the government – prevented flooding in many areas. However, drought conditions continued to deepen in the north in early 2016, then spread throughout the country as both of Somalia’s rainy seasons failed. In November 2016, drought was declared nationwide by federal and regional authorities, with conditions ranging from moderate to extreme. By December 2016 – as the poor Deyr rains came to an end – conditions worsened, with most of the country experiencing severe to extreme drought.
According to the Food and Agricultural Organization-FAO Urgent action to change the course of Somali People inundated by Drought effects and subsequent climate change is now imperative thence its appeal for $26m for response
This follows FAO’s Rapid Results Drought Response Plan which addresses the most time-sensitive needs of rural families across Somalia with recommendations for three pronged intervention strategy geared towards preventing famine, making all Somali productive thence affordable livelihoods. This includes availing cash, livelihood inputs and Emergency livestock Support
Read FOAs full Somalia Drought Rapid Response Plan 2016/17