The humanitarian situation in Somalia has been aggravated by Cyclone Gati which made landfall in Bari region, Puntland on 22 November. Moderate to heavy rainfall associated with the cyclone together with some heavy storms affected nearly 200,000 people, including 42,000 displaced mainly in Iskushuban district. The cyclone caused the death of nine people and disrupted livelihoods by destroying fishing gear, killing livestock, and flooding agricultural land and crops. The storm came against the backdrop of the triple threat of the COVID-19 pandemic, floods and an unprecedented desert locust upsurge which further deepened overall food insecurity within the country.
The desert locust infestation continues to spread in the southern parts of Somalia. In Banadir region, locusts were spotted hovering in parts of Dayniile and Kahda. Local farmers have reported that locusts have destroyed pastures, trees and gardens that had just began to grow. In Jubaland State, the situation is worsening, with more than 20 villages and pastoral areas surrounding Dhobley and Afmadow district affected. In South West State, swarms of locusts have been reported in Lower Shabelle and in the Bay region. An estimated 200 hectares of farmland have been destroyed in Afgooye-Marka. In Puntland, immature and mature swarms of desert locusts are present in many areas where breeding is ongoing due to favorable weather conditions following recent rains. It is projected that the hatched swarms will start hovering around areas with vegetation in search of food, depending on the direction of the wind. In Hirshabelle State, a huge presence of newly hatched locusts have been spotted in Hiiraan and Middle Shabelle regions.
Seasonal Deyr rains (October – December) have been erratic in Somalia, starting late in most parts of the country. However, the rains have caused widespread flooding resulting in displacement, suspected deaths and destruction of key infrastructure including roads, houses and farmland, according to humanitarian partners. At least 73,000 people have been affected by the Deyr rains and floods, mainly in Banadir, Jubaland, Hirshabelle, Galmudug and South West region since 23 October. Those affected include more than 53,000 IDPs and members of the host community in Baidoa town in South West State, whose living conditions were already dire.
Food assistance needs in Somalia are already high with an estimated 3.5 million people in rural livelihood zones, urban areas, and IDP settlements in need of food assistance. In riverine areas, farmers have suffered from multiple flood events during the Gu and Hagaa 2020 seasons, which damaged Deyr 2019/20 off-season crops and Gu 2020 main season crops. As a result, the main Gu harvest in July/August is up to 40 per cent below the long-term average in these areas. In addition, escalated conflict in Lower Shabelle suspended cropping activities in Qoryooley, Marka, Afgooye, and Wanlaweyn districts and displaced large populations to Mogadishu.
However, SOYDA have been providing integrated package of nutrition, Food Security, Education, Civic Education, Youth empowerment, WASH, protection, and health intervention in Benadir, Southwest and Jubbaland State of Somalia.
SOYDA shall however, continue its program implementation to enable reduce the vulnerability as well as provide improved lifesaving Health, Nutrition, WASH, Food Security, Protection and Education services
Source: Somali Young Doctors Association