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Rural families abandon drought-hit farms in Hiran but find no aid in Jalalaqsi IDP camps

Monday September 5, 2022

IDP family awaiting assistance in a camp/File photo/Ergo

(ERGO) –  Mumino Farah Hussein, 48, walked with her 10 children for three days from their village of Sagal-geed hoping to get help in an internal displacement camp in Jalalaqsi, in southern Somalia’s Hiran region.

She left her husband behind on their two-hectare farm, where the sorghum, beans, sesame and watermelons all failed due to the lack of rainfall. He will try to keep their remaining two cows and five goats alive. Their other eight cows and 55 goats all died.

They arrived in Wadajir IDP camp in Jalalaqsi, about 50 kilometres from their village, on 29 June, but found there was little food for them there either.

“We haven’t got anything from the aid organisations, we don’t have utensils to drink or to eat with, and our livestock have perished,” she said.

Relying on other IDPs who have been in the camp for longer, Mumino and her children get to eat just one meal a day. But the 12 kgs of flour, rice and sugar they were given by neighbours is quickly running out.

They have to walk a kilometre to the river Shabelle to get water, carrying it themselves as they no longer have their animals. There are few job opportunities in the Al-Shabaab-besieged Jalalaqsi district. The main economic activity has been agricultural production, which has been devastated by biting drought.

Mumino also pointed out that the camp has no educational or medical facilities and the 700 families living in the camp share only three toilets.

Meanwhile, Raaho Adan Isse has been living in a makeshift shelter with her 12 children in Wadajir camp since 13 June. She has struggled to get by and goes out to look for cleaning jobs in households in Jalalaqsi.

“I leave my house early in the morning. I visit people’s homes and I can earn 50,000-60,000 shillings ($2) if I get work, or if am unlucky I come back home. When I get the money I buy rice and beans and if I have nothing we eat what other people in the camp can give us,” she said.

They migrated from Halfoley village, 30 kilometres away, after losing their 45 goats during three years of failed rains. Like the other women, she lugs her four 20-litre jerry cans to fill from the river and carries them home on her back.

“We heard there were aid organisations in the camp and people were getting registered,” Raaho said. “We haven’t found what we expected, but we hope that we will. We still haven’t recovered from the drought.”

The deputy representative for social affairs in Jalalaqsi district, Abukar Hassan, said the majority of the IDPs joined the camp in the past six months, mostly migrating from 90 villages around Jalalaqsi.

He said the district authority has no capacity to help the displaced families although they have notified the authorities in Hirshabelle as well as the UN’s World Food Programme and Food and Agriculture Organisation about the needs. 


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