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Hungry families from breadbasket Bay region in southern Somalia flee to Mogadishu

Friday December 10, 2021

Fahiya Madey Mohamed fled her small farm in Burhakaba in southern Somalia’s Bay region after five of her eight goats died in the drought, the crops she had planted shrivelled, and they were unable to access water or food.

She arrived this month with her three children in Tuurey IDP camp, on the outskirts of Mogadishu, where she is now stranded without food and shelter.

Before leaving the village, she slaughtered two of her last goats for the children to eat and sold the other three to raise money to pay the vehicle that brought them to Mogadishu. She is now struggling to feed her children with the dollar or two she earns washing clothes for local households.

“We go to search for laundry jobs, the little we earn is what we cook for the children. If we don’t get anything we sleep hungry. We don’t have enough food,” Fahiya said.

Her main concern apart from food is the lack of toilets, water, and shelter in the camp. There is only one tap and water costs 2,000 Somali shillings for 20 litres when it is available.

“We didn’t have water yesterday. This morning the tap had water, but now it is dry,” she said.

Farhiya is among 200 drought-stricken families who fled to Tuurey IDP camp during December from Hawa bar-baaro, Waaqo, Gubta, Dinsor, and Burhakaba in Bay region. The camp was already hosting 184 families and it has only two toilets.

Two of Farhiya’s children are deaf and their father has not provided any support since they divorced two years ago.

Another desperate family, Fadumo Ali Mumin and her husband and five children, left their home in Gubta in Burhakaba and are now being hosted by relatives already living in Tuurey. She cooks just one meal a day using dry food that she begs from the families living around the IDP camp.

“My husband doesn’t know Mogadishu. We lost our livestock and the farm to the drought. I can’t take up jobs now even if I get employed as I am nine months pregnant. If I give birth tomorrow, we won’t have anything to eat,” she said.

Fadumo said three of their nine goats in Gubta died due to lack of fodder and water, and they slaughtered two for the children to eat. She exchanged two goats for some sorghum and sold the last two for $20, which they used to pay the fare to Mogadishu.

Fadumo does not know how she will raise the money to pay the hospital fee for delivery of her baby later in December, nor how the family will survive without any income, assets, or aid.


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