Water scarcity affects Somaliland households
Hundreds of households in the disputed Sool area of the self-declared
republic of Somaliland are facing a water shortage following poor rains,
Both Somaliland and the self-declared autonomous region of Puntland claim the Sool and Sanaag regions.
"We believe an estimated 3,000 households are facing water shortages in
[the] Sool Region," Mohamed Mousa Awale, chairman of Somaliland's
National Environment Research and Disaster Preparedness and Management
Authority (NERAD), told IRIN.
Awale added that some drought-affected rural families had migrated to
neighbouring areas, such as Togdheer and Buhotle, which had received
good 'Deyr' rains - the rains typical from October to December. Others
moved further south in search water and pasture.
"But we are worried [about] the old people and the people who had no
ability to move from the villages. [They] are in a serious situation and
need water and food," he said.
Commenting on the number of those affected, Sool Deputy Governor Mohamed
Abdi Dhimbil said, "There is no accurate estimation, but I can only
tell that the water shortage has affected the whole region. The nearest
water source is 94km away, inside Ethiopia, and we believe that about
200 pastoralist families [are in] search of water and pasture in
Somalia's Mudug Region."
The price of water in Las-Anod, Sool's capital, has sharply increased
since mid-February. A 200L barrel of ‘durdur’, or spring water, now
costs $1.50, up from to $1 a month ago. A barrel of rainwater from the
‘berkads’, or water pans, has risen from $2.48 to $5.
"The durdurs [springs] near Las-Anod have run out of water for the first
time in history, and prices [have] increased," said Faisal Jama, a
journalist based in Las-Anod.
"The water price increase has [a] negative impact [on] our livelihoods.
If someone's income is $150 per month, he/she needs $45 for water
compared, to $22.38 a month [ago], and the remaining [money] is not
enough to cover his/her livelihood needs," said Mohamed ABdillahi, a
father of five.
As the dry January-to-March ‘Jilaal’ season progresses, more water sources could be depleted, according to a post-Deyr outlook
by the Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit (FSNAU).
"In the areas where the October-to-December Deyr 2012 rains were poor,
including the Sool Plateau and parts of Nugal Valley, the dry
January-to-March Jilaal will likely lead to rapid depletion of water
resources, especially since many berkads did not get replenished during
this Deyr. Long distances to water points for livestock are likely to be
observed owing to more limited water access due to the high cost of
water trucking," states the FSNAU report.
The situation there could worsen with associated declines in food security, adds FSNAU.
Some parts of Somaliland have started to receive some ‘Gu’ rains - the
rains from March to May. But early forecasts by FSNAU indicate that the
rains in Somalia will be normal to below normal in terms of total