Affected communities will have to adapt to climate change
(LWI) - As the hunger crisis worsens in Somalia, LWF continues to provide food to people in the camps for internally displaced persons (IDP) near Kismayo town in the southwest of Somalia. The IDP camp houses people who migrated from different areas in Jubbaland state in search of food. Many have walked for days, hoping for the aid of international organizations in the camp.
"The drought-induced humanitarian crisis in Somalia is getting worse every day. People, including children and elderly, walk as far as 120 kilometers to reach the camps," says Girma Benti Gudina, LWF Country Representative in Kenya-Somalia. "The lives of the thousands in the camps depend on humanitarian assistance. But unfortunately, people are getting hungrier and increasingly vulnerable to outbreaks of disease."
Three days walk for food
The people arriving in the camp lost everything to the extreme drought. One of them is Hawa Barawe Ali, a 65-year-old woman from Jubbaland. "I walked for almost three days in the heat; it was excruciating," she said. "I almost went mad, but God has been with me throughout my journey."
Hawa Barawe Ali said she lost 60 cows and 50 goats, leaving her with nothing. So, she left behind her family and started the long journey on foot, with 50 other people. She had to take shelter from wild animals and says there was not much she could take with her: "I left behind every single thing I owned; my only worry was if I would ever make it to a safer place," said Hawa.
In Ceel Jale 1 IDP camp, the 65-year-old was put up in a makeshift tent house using tattered clothes provided by neighbors, which now protect her from the sun and the cold at night. She is one of the people to receive rice, wheat, cooking oil, and sugar from LWF.
"In Somalia, we see migration and displacement because of hunger," says LWF Country Representative Gudina. According to the United Nations World Food Program (WFP), out of the 15.8 million Somalis, 7 million do not know where their next meal will come from. Two hundred thousand are in danger of starving; an estimated 1.5 million children suffer from severe malnutrition. In addition, nearly 4 million people have left their homes in search of food and water.
The drought is primarily due to extreme weather and climate change. Farmers have by now experienced several bad seasons in a row, and humanitarians expect the next dry season for the end of the year. Food prices have multiplied in the entire region; people in Somalia now pay three times as much for sorghum and maize, WFP states. The war in Ukraine is adding to the food shortage, as the Horn of Africa depends on imported grain from Eastern Europe.