Almost all the calls to Radio Ergo’s audience feedback platform this week (10-16 February 2022) were drought and water-related. The biggest number of calls came from northern regions of Somaliland, with many others too from across central and southern regions. Most described the deepening suffering and distress caused by drought and water shortages on people’s lives and livelihoods. Most also called for the sharing of their messages with aid agencies and government authorities in the hope of getting help and support. The following summarises the calls by theme.
Water crisis – in Somaliland, the most prominent regions named by callers were Togdher, Sanag and Sool, with some from Awdal and others from other unspecified locations in the north. Callers in Lughaya, Awdal, said drought conditions were harshing. In Togdher, a caller near Buhodle said some people were reported to have died in Doqoshay. Others in Buhodle said water shortage had led to deaths, displacement, and livestock becoming feeble. A caller identifying as an IDP said people were fencing off grazing areas whilst their animals were starving. Callers in Durugsi wanted water and food aid. Callers in Hayira wanted their pleas to be shared with aid and government agencies. A caller in Oodweyne accused the government of focusing on elections and politics instead of bringing them water. In Sanag, a female caller said the resources in Hadaftimo had been overwhelmed by people migrating in from Puntland regions. Another caller said reports that the Somaliland government had distributed aid in Sanag were false. Callers in Garadag and El-Afweyne were concerned about their dying livestock. A few callers in Sanag also said they had been invaded by locusts along with the drought. One caller said water was contaminated and they feared outbreaks of disease.
A female caller said they were short of food and another caller said their nearest water source was 70 kilometers away in Qardho. Callers in Sool spoke of livestock dying, lack of water and the need for water trucking and aid. Several callers said they were unable to sell their livestock. In Puntland, a caller said some pastoralists whose livestock had died had turned to fishing. Another in Bosaso said he had lost 29 goats and wanted help restocking. A farmer in Puntland said their farms had failed due to lack of water and they wanted advice on turning to bee-keeping for a living. A caller in Jarriban, Mudug, said they wanted water and fodder for their livestock. Other callers in Galkayo were worried about the effects of drought on livestock and vulnerable families, as well as about diseases.
Among many callers from Galgadud, two wanted to hear weather forecasts to know if to expect rainfall. Callers in Adado said food and water prices were rising steeply. In Balanbale, a female caller said they needed aid agencies to help save their livestock before they all died. Another female caller in Shilamadow said their livestock were dying and they had no milk for their children. Others in the region spoke of no food or water for either livestock or people. A female caller said on top of the drought the locusts had come to devour any vegetation. Some in Hiran said their livestock were dying, including a female caller in the border village of Sarirale. Among calls from Bay region, a caller in Baidoa said water and food was scarce as many families had arrived in urban areas from rural areas. In Burhakaba, a caller said the livestock were too thin to be sold. In Gedo, IDPs in Bardera and Dollow said they needed water, food, and shelter. A caller in Dollow said there were outbreaks of disease including measles and no vaccines. This week, there were several callers from parts of Ethiopia’s Somali region complaining about water shortages, lack of fodder, and displacement.
Livestock – in addition to the concerns about lack of fodder and water for livestock and the general conditions, there were more calls this week from pastoralists in different regions asking for advice or assistance from veterinary experts for the treatment of various livestock diseases.