World Vision Somalia
article • Wednesday, October 11th 2017

Feeding drought affected children and their families in Puntland

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The sky is blue and endless. It looks like a ceiling above with the sun’s rays bouncing back and landing on the already hard ground.

Women breath in the dry air as they queue, waiting for their monthly rations of food that is being distributed by World Vision in partnership with World Food Programme. 

Women at the food distribution centre waiting in line  

The women look tired but cheerful. They look beaten but not broken to pieces. With their sacks and tins, they form a queue as they wait for the distribution to begin. These villagers of Isballeh village in Puntland state, Somalia are relying on humanitarian assistance due to acute food insecurity resulting from severe drought following failure of rains since 2015.

Powerless Warsan Farah Mohamed, a mother of four children is among the women who have come to pick their food ration. This is the first time she is getting the food ration. The ration consists of 50kgs of sorghum, 5 kgs of lentils, 2.5 kgs of oil and 10kgs of Corn and Soya blend (CSB). This is the only food that she relies on but wishes that she could have something to call her own and not rely on food assistance. 

Warsan getting her food ration  

Helping hand with her food ration, Warsan would have opted to eat with her immediate family members but her generous heart allows her to share her ration with neighbours who do not have food to eat. She also gives the animals some sorghum or the animals eat what the children have left.

 One of Warsan's goats eating leftover porridge. The porridge is made of corn and soya mix flour

The ration is expected to last her a month but with her long generous extended hand, the ration will only last her a maximum of 10 days.

 Warsan serving porridge made of corn and soya mix flour

Losing hope three years ago, before the rains failed, abundance was a shade of green where animals bleated in satisfaction. Green was a shade of good health where children had enough to eat and sickness was kept at bay. Three years ago, was a season of plentiful but now they are plagued in a season of scarcity.

The drought has robbed her off her source of livelihood and depleted the source of food for her children. Once boasting of 30 goats, Warsan now boasts only of 10 goats. And the animals continue to die. Warsan is appreciative of the food that she has but intones that the children will need more food like milk as they need to have a variety to eat from.

Warsan feeding her sons porridge 

Her preference however, is a cash voucher than food distribution. The food distribution is limited to what is being distributed. With cash, she can buy whatever is available in the market.  However, her one prayer is that the rains will come and then there will be sufficient food, as she can’t rely on assistance all the time.

World Vision’s response has reached 482,289 people with food security and livelihood support.

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