Five hundred families fleeing severe drought in central Somalia’s northern Galgadud region have arrived in Dabad town, 40 km from Abudwaq, over the past month.
The families from Kahandale, Qalanqal and Dha’dher villages left their homes following the failure of the last two rainy seasons.
Nuro Osman Shire, 40, a mother of six, said her family lost almost all their herd of 150 goats. They walked 40km to reach Dabad. She said drought and disease had decimated livestock in her village.
“It took 48 hours to reach here. I lived in Kahandale. The failure of the rains caused a lot of suffering to people and livestock. We have only seven goats now,” she said.
“We carried small containers of water and set off on our journey. When the water finished, we sought help from families living along the way. Whenever we got some water to quench our thirst, we continued the journey until we reached the town.”
Nuro told Radio Ergo they were walking with 120 families, who have settled in an IDP camp just outside town. Most are children, women and the elderly. They get free water, but can manage just one meal a day.
“Life is different here because we used to have livestock but now we are empty handed. I made a shanty using sticks and old clothes. We have no house, no medical helpor food,” she said.
Dahir Osman Hashi, a father of eight, arrived three weeks ago after fleeing Qalanqal village on Somalia’s border with Ethiopia after all his livestock died.
“There are 90 families who came here. We were settled in a camp and we are still here. Some of the livestock were killed by the drought and we exchanged some for food,” he said.
Adan Abdi Nur, the district officer of Dabad, told Radio Ergo that his administration could only help the IDPs with water.
According to Adan, the locals and the authority contribute food for the IDPs but the amount is not enough forall the families.
“Every day new people arrive. There are many people living with families in the town.As the administration of Dabad, we only encourage people to help others,” he said.