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Vulnerable Somali IDPs in Bardera receive shelter – now all they want is food

Monday October 3, 2022


(ERGO) – Mohamed Ahmed Hassan, an elderly disabled father, was grateful to be given a tent and some household utensils by a local NGO so he and his wife and their eight children could have better shelter ahead of anticipated rainfall than the tree they have been sleeping under.

This 73-year-old father was displaced from the rural areas of Bardera, in southern Somalia’s Gedo region, in May after losing 68 goats to the drought. He walked using his crutches for four days with his family to reach Iftin IDP camp in Bardera town.

“We were displaced due to drought and thirst. We didn’t have any means of transport. We lost our livestock, and our farms didn’t get any rainfall for a long time. We are now happy that we got houses,” he said.

Mohamed goes out to beg for food, telling people he meets that he cannot take on any available jobs as they are mostly too arduous and require physical strength. He is able to collect enough for one meal for his family a day.

“I go out to the city and God has been good, one person gives us some sugar, another sends a dollar and that that’s how we get by,” he told Radio Ergo.

Abdi Bare Farah, 60, another father of 15 children, had been living in a small house with his wife and family for almost a year. Their small makeshift hut could barely fit them all. He was glad as well to be given a tent and some household utensils – although they did not receive any food.

“We now have a good place to live, and some utensils including even spoons, and we now only need food,” he noted.

Abdi was displaced from Fahfahdhun in Gedo in November 2021 after losing 300 goats and 20 cows to drought. Iftin camp in Bardera offers scarce economic activities and the IDP families are heavily dependent on aid handouts.

“I have been living in the rural areas for most of my life. I came here due to difficult circumstances. The only thing I know is livestock husbandry, we now depend on people to give us aid and our life is hard,” he explained.

The tents and utensils were distributed by the local NGO, Horn of Africa Peace Network (HAPEN), which selected 1,313 of the families most in need of shelter in six camps in Bardera. Yusuf Adan Omar of HAPPEN said they focused on people living with disability, elderly people, marginalised people, and families with many children among some of the criteria. 


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