For the last two years, the rainfall was very low in low Somaliland, Somalia and Ethiopia. This led these countries plants to wither, animals to die and water areas to dry up. All these countries are vulnerable to such drastic situations. About the 80 percent of the people are rural and depend on livestock productions. Likewise, livestock production is 85 percent of all foreign earning. Drought has bitterly affected both crops and livestock productions.
So far, thousands of sheep, cows and even number camels have died. These led thousands of people into destitution and the devoid of all the necessary things like food and shelter. For sake of the basic needs, many people fled to nearby cities. When they are on the way, small children and other susceptible people like parents may die on the way due to lack of food and water. For example, more than 5 people have recently died in western regions of Somaliland for lack of water and foods.
On the contrary, all these countries, Somaliland, Somalia and Ethiopia drought and famine occurred consequently. This slumps the economy of these countries and leads to financial crisis. Similarly, there are no national reservoirs to prevent water shortage and maintain water during harsh conditions. For this reason, these countries cannot tolerate delay of rainfalls.
Although most of the land these countries are semi-arid and rainfall intensity is very low, if properly managed, it is still enough to wait rainfall durations. During the spring, water fluxes freely everywhere and rivers add a lot of water into the sea. If properly managed, water flows through the rivers, it can be benefited for future purposes.
Finally, only now it is the early onset of rains. There are big black hopeful clouds on the sky which seem that they will rain sooner rather than later. Therefore we need national governmental plans to tackle these endless problems and prepare for the coming rains. In Somaliland, we need large reservoirs, wells and dams to be built to store and retain water. These may lessen this national calamity.
By Abdihakim Mohammoud ( Ubahle)
Medical student at UOH