In Pictures - Drought in Somalia

Somalia drought 6

Back-to-back poor rainy seasons, coupled with a strong El Niño, have resulted in 4.7 million people in need of immediate life-saving assistance across Somalia. According to Fews Net, this number is expected to increase through September. Adar Aden lives in the village of Hara Adan. She does not have a water filter or any other means to purify drinking water she manages to collect from the same source used by animals. Photo: Aapo Huhta / Finnish Red Cross


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With access to clean water a challenge, people scoop up what they can find. The consumption of bacteria-laden water has led to an outbreak of acute watery diarrhoea and cholera in southern and central Somalia. More than 600 new cases were reported in the month of June alone. Photo: Aapo Huhta / Finnish Red Cross


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As part of its response to the drought, the Somali Red Crescent Society, with support from the German Red Cross, uses water trucks to refill a reserve pool in Hara Adan village, providing some temporary relief to the community. Photo: Aapo Huhta / Finnish Red Cross


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Pastoral and agropastoral communities, or approximately 75 per cent of the population, are among those most severely impacted by the drought. They walk countless kilometres in search of water and grazeable land for their livestock, as they watch their sources of food, income and water disappear. Photo: Aapo Huhta / Finnish Red Cross


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The Somali drought is not just affecting people. Some reports indicate as many as 80 per cent of livestock have already perished during the prolonged dryspell, affecting families' abilities to feed themselves and to generate an income. Photo: Aapo Huhta / Finnish Red Cross

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People from the border region between Ethiopia and Somaliland have traveled long distances, over 300 kilometres, to reach the coast, looking for rain and green land. Once there, they are not able to find any food for their animals. They have now gathered on the outskirts of a village where it is possible for them to receive emergency supplies like water, through the support of the Somali Red Crescent Society. Photo: Aapo Huhta / Finnish Red Cross


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In February 2016, a joint drought operation of 1.1 million Euros was launched by the Somali Red Crescent Society, the German Red Cross, and the Finnish Red Cross in Somaliland. The operation addresses the acute needs of approximately 46,000 people through water, sanitation and health, food security, health and nutritional support, and looks at underlying factors of vulnerability. The operation is financed by the  European Commission's Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department, German Red Cross and Finnish Red Cross.

In March 2016, the IFRC followed with a 1.3 million Swiss franc emergency appeal, aimed at supporting the Somalia Red Crescent Society in delivering emergency life-saving assistance to close to 79,000 people affected by the drought. Interventions focus primarily on health and care, water, sanitation and hygiene, food security, nutrition and livelihoods.