Coping with life away from home

As we drove towards Dhuyacley IDP camp, located between Luuq town and Hanoy village in Luuq district, Southwest of Somalia there was little activity going on. A few men could be seen putting up makeshift shelters with available sticks while women and children were seated next to their temporary homes. As soon as we pulled over, a large crowd gathered around, probably hoping or wishing that we had brought something for them. The new camp is hosting 200 families who migrated from their homes due to the biting drought that has affected five million people in Somalia.

Hassan Haden, a farmer, has been in this camp for almost two months now since he left his home in Gudgamas in Bakool region in Southern Somalia because the drought was so intense.  “I left my home because of drought and there was no water. I was a farmer there but all our crops failed because of poor rainfall,” he says.

Aulio Hussein, was forced to leave her home in Gudgamas where she was farming. She has been at the camp for one month. “I left Gudgamas because there was a lot of hunger. I came to Luuq because this is the only place I expect we will be given something,” she remarks.

Somalia is currently experiencing drought that has led to severe food insecurity. Recent statistics by Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit (FSNAU) indicate that 5 million Somalis -almost 40 per cent of the country’s population are food insecure.

The assessment further indicates that more than 1.1 million Somalis are unable to meet their daily food requirement while another 3.9 million require livelihood support. Further, an estimated, 1.1 million internally displaced persons are among the most vulnerable in the group.

Hassan observes that they have not received any assistance since they arrived at the camp. The local authority gave them the piece of land they are currently occupying.

Makeshift shelters at Dhuyacley IDP camp  in Luuq District 

To make ends meet, women engage in small trade like collecting firewood and shrubs for sale. They then have to walk three kilometers to sell the firewood and shrubs with no guarantee that they will make sales and get money to buy food for the children.

According to Mr. Mohamed Hassan Osman, Luuq’s District Commissioner, the number of IDPs has been on the increase since September, putting pressure on the available resources.

“The number of IDPs is increasing every day because of the drought. This puts pressure on the livelihood, health and security of the area. Since September we have received approximately 1,080 families,” affirms Mohamed.

The animals have not been spared either. As they moved from Gudgamas to Luuq, they came with their donkeys but they had to leave the weakest ones behind. The ones that made it to Luuq have been tied to rest. As a result, women and children are forced to walk for three kilometers to and fro in search of water. Since they don’t have donkeys to carry several 20 litre water jericans, the women carry a jerican at a time, making several trips a day to ensure they get enough water for their families.

The District Commissioner urges humanitarian organisations to act on time and not to duplicate activities as they support affected communities.

“Timing of the support is very crucial to support the affected communities. I also urge humanitarian organisations to be strategic in how they offer their support to ensure that those in need are supported in the right way,” Says Mohamed.

Drought is becoming a more frequent feature in Somalia, challenging efforts to build up community resilience since the famine afflicted the country in 2011.

World Vision Somalia’s programmes will continue to focus on strengthening household resilience approaches, complementing the existing emergency and resilient building initiatives.

Long term interventions will align with the integrated projects and continue to tackle the underlying causes of vulnerabilities as well as build self-reliance of disaster affected communities.

World Vision’s planned response seeks to benefit 530,000 drought-affected individuals. The response will complement and build on resilience efforts that continue to advocate for while creating sustainable programmes. Key response priorities will include Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), food security, health and nutrition, shelter and livelihood protection.   


Marion Vera Aluoch

Communications Officer

World Vision Somalia