By Fauxile Kibet
The Norwegian Refugee Council has warned that a new drought in Somalia may push over 1.5 million people over the edge.
According to Victor Moses, Country Director for the Norwegian Refugee Council, change of climate has caused recurrent drought in the Horn of African nation, which has caused great suffering to the Somali people.
“With over 1.5 million people in Somalia enduring this food crisis, a new drought may push them over the edge. Recurring droughts partly caused by climate change have hurt Somalia for years, and the lack of rainfall is alarming,” he said.
He added that recent seasonal rains fell sharply below normal causing low levels in the Juba and Shabelle rivers compared to two previous seasons.
The country director challenged the international community to put more efforts on humanitarian programs saying that the situation is expected to get worse due to the prolonged dry spell.
“Recent seasonal rains were sharply below normal, causing below normal levels in the Juba and Shabelle rivers compared to the previous two seasons. The international community must continue to fund lifesaving programmes for Somalia, as the current crisis is expected to worsen.”
A report by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), a large population in Somalia still faces acute food insecurity due to too little rainfall during the Deyr season rainfall.
According to the post-Deyr seasonal assessment by the Food and Agriculture Organization-managed Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit for Somalia and the Famine Early Warning Systems Network, some 903,100 children under the age of five are likely to be acutely malnourished in 2019.
“The Deyr rains started late and were significantly below average across most of the country, with large parts of central Somalia and some parts of northern Somalia receiving 25 percent to 50 percent of average rainfall. No river or flash floods were reported,” said the report.
Somali government and humanitarian agencies last week launched the 2019 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) and called on donors to provide sufficient and early funding to sustain aid operations in Somalia in 2019.
The response plan seeks $1.08 billion to provide life-saving assistance and livelihood support to 3.4 million Somalis affected by conflict, climatic shocks and displacement across the country.