Fardawsa Ibrahim was displaced from Dabagoryale village in Odwaine district located near the border of Ethiopia when she was 7 years old. She moved with her parents to Gunburaha village in southern Maroodijeex region of Somaliland where they settled at an Internally Displaced Person’s (IDP) camp following a severe drought that affected her family.
As the hunger crisis worsened in Somaliland, killing all their livestock, they were forced to migrate to Gunburaha, in search of food and water so as to survive. Fardawsa comes from a pastoralist family that owned more than 200 sheep and goats they lost to the prolonged drought.
When Fardawsa’s family left their home village, they had nothing. Unsure what awaited the future, her parents worried about what could happen to their only child and daughter. They reached Gunburaha district but had no shelter or food.
Gunburaha is a small village under Baligubadle district, the community members are pastoralists and their livelihood depends on livestock although a small number of people in the community grow crops such as cereals and other cash crops during rainy seasons.
“The journey was difficult. We were thirsty and hungry. We had nothing to drink or eat. We walked for two and a half days to reach here (Gunburaha),” says Hinda Mohamed, mother to Fardawsa.
Her main worry is that her family has become poor without livestock. She says many of her neighbours in the camp worry too but they are hopeful.
Narrating their circumstances and how they are able to cope, Hinda said, “Sometimes our neighbours here share their food with us. Nothing is worse as being an IDP family.”
Before moving to Gunburaha IDP camp, Fardawsa used to go to Islamic Madrasa because her village did not have a school, but today she doesn’t attend any madrasa or school because of the difficult life.
One of the biggest challenges Fardawsa and her family are facing is lack of proper shelter, no safe drinking water and her not able to attend any school.
Many girls in pastoralist communities like Fardawsa face many challenges. “Girls who come from such families like Fardawsa end up missing the opportunity to continue with school because they are constantly on the move to look for either pasture, food, water or for means and ways to survive due to challenges that come with severe drought. But they would be happy if they get ways to go to school. This is the worst drought (2017) that I have witnessed for years and it’s not easy for girls” says Nimco Eid Awaleh, Education and Child Protection Coordinator for World Vision in Somaliland.
The humanitarian situation in Somalia continues to be precarious. Mild to moderate drought conditions are imminent in many parts of Somalia due to the 2018 insufficient Deyr rains and delayed onset of Gu rains.
As of April 2019, nearly 4.9 million people are estimated to be food insecure and the number is expected to rise. The combination of environmental deterioration, disasters such as droughts and floods, lack of adequate levels of agricultural production, conflict and economic crisis have eroded vulnerable households’ ability to cope. Many families were newly displaced countrywide, putting more pressure on already congested camps and limited resources.
As of April 2019, World Vision assisted 414,348 people in affected areas with lifesaving humanitarian assistance, but more support is still needed to match the increased needs.
Fardawsa’s dream is to become a teacher when she grows up. She believes if she could go to school, she will be able to help her family have a better life and future.