Master of Advanced Studies
in Humanitarian Logistics and Management


Driven out by Drought in Somalia - E.S.

Prevention and Mitigation of Drought: A case study of Puntland State of Somalia.

By Mohamed Ahmed Abdi

Puntland is a state in Somali where a failure of three consecutive rain (Gu 'and Dyer in 2015 and also Gu' in 2016) resulted in a severe drought that Influenced thousands of people in Puntland, where the communities in Bari, Nugaal, Sool, Sanaag, and Karkar suffered the most. The Gu was delayed, and the results were poor regarding coverage and distribution in most areas, Including parts of the Northern Inland Pastoral and Nugaal Valley. Drought is a permanent and recurring phenomenon. In February 2017, the number of people in need of humanitarian aid was reported to have risen to 6.2 million, which is more than half the population. The caseload of malnourished children in need of urgent treatment was reported to be rising to 270,000 while 30,000 children had already dropped out of school in drought-affected areas in Puntland and Somaliland alone. Therefore, this study was aimed at determining the prevention and attenuation of drinking in or the Puntland's state of Somalia.

This study was a case study that involved a sample size of 60 respondents that were selected using systematic random sampling from each of the seven (7) Puntland State regions (Bari, Nugal, Mudug, Sanaag, Sool, Ayn and Karkaar) that were selected from community leaders and heads of institutions and NGOs in those state regions. Ten (10) respondents were randomly chosen from relevant line ministries and government departments. Eight (8) respondents were randomly selected from relevant regional bodies (IGAD and Arab League), humanitarian agencies and development organizations working on drought in the Puntland State of Somalia. Data from the respondents was collected by use of a questionnaire that was the primary research tool with both open and closed ended questions as regards drought in the region.

The results of the study indicated that majority of the population were knowledgeable and aware of the effects of drought on both human beings and livestock. The respondents agreed that drought had several effects on the community including the shortage of water for people and livestock, lack of pasture and foodstuffs, increased food prices; fall in livestock and fish sales, increased prevalence of animal disease and mortality and low birth rate among livestock.  Other effects of drought included high students’ drop out from school and malnutrition among children.

The regional and national collaboration requirements necessary for addressing the causes of drought in Puntland state were discussed with the respondents and majority of the respondents agree to the prospects for both regional and national requirements necessary for addressing the causes of drought such as setting up irrigation schemes, improving management of rangeland, practicing crop diversification and minimizing resource based conflicts. However, a significant number of respondents were not sure about these prospects. The majority of the respondents agreed to the different opportunities concerned with land use reforms in agricultural and livestock production pattern to prevent the occurrence of drought such as the use of drought resistant crops and livestock, use of agroforestry and practicing mixed farming. But a significant number of respondents was not sure about the different prospects of preventing drought through land use reforms in agricultural and livestock production. The majority of the respondents agreed to the various prospects of the investments in soil and water resource aimed at preventing droughts such as the construction of water catchment areas, rehabilitation of boreholes, practicing water recycling and use of water pumps to extend water supply. But a significant number of respondents was not sure about the different prospects of preventing drought through investments in soil and water resources.

These were some of the recommendations drawn from the study to different stakeholders in Somalia. The government of Somalia should engage in collaboration with both local and international development partners in providing the necessary humanitarian aid to the communities which have been affected by the drought by providing the essentials of life such as food, water, shelter, and treatment for reducing the loss of life due to drought. Development agencies and donors working in Somalia should invest in sustainable water sources such as building wells, valley dams, boreholes and water harvesting systems that could sustain the water supply for both domestic and industrial use to the community.

This study looked at the strategies that can be put in place to prevent and mitigate drought in Puntland state of Somalia and indicated that there was need for increased collaboration between the government of Somalia, development partners and the International community who should intensively and extensively invest in land use and water sources for both domestic and industrial use. The investment in technologies that will increase availability and access to water through tapping underground water and water harvesting will promote agriculture and livestock farming in the region. This will provide food security and avert future reoccurrence of drought. 


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