UN, AU abandon Somalilanders in the face of drought


Somalilanders recently lamented on how the international governmental organisations like the United Nations and African Union have placed a closed eye on the victims of drought in the region. Their actions in this case were described as inhumane, nepotistic and political as these organisations focus mainly on Somalia; leaving the affected eastern part of Somaliland unattended to. In few months of this natural disaster, majority of people in the eastern region of the country have died while almost all of them have lost their means of livelihood – farming and livestock.

“We’re very sad that the United Nations and African Union are not concerned about the affairs of people, human being like them, in Somaliland. I thought humanity has no political affiliation, but this has proven me completely wrong. This is totally unfair! Recognition or no recognition should not have anything to do with extending aids to our people who are badly affected by drought,” lamented Adan Abdi, a Somali social entrepreneur and human right activists.

Report gathered from our correspondent in the region shows that both private and government invested heavily on livestock rearing and production. This thereby makes the economy of the country to rely heavily on revenue generated the trade of animals with other countries in partnership as it is used to develop and run the country’s affairs.

“Droughts have been occurring in Somaliland though none has lasted as long as this has. The previous drought before this one’s outbreak lasted for 2 months overwhelmed by the current one which has lasted for 8 months now, from September (2016) up to date in April (2017) being very disastrous and leaving no animal alive according to the herders. This has taken the months known by the locals for rain inclusive,” said Shamirah Abdallah, a Somaliland-based Ugandan investigative journalist.

“The areas facing the greatest catastrophe are; Eragabo, Bosaso and Borao all in the eastern part. In these areas, animals are dying at a very high rate and in large numbers since herders don’t have water and feeds for them as it was in the past. This has left a pastoralist who had over 1000 camels or so, 500 sheep and goats with less than 10 camels, 3 goats or sheep or nothing at all. With the ongoing situation where pastoralists have to painfully witness the death of their animals, they have completely lost hope as they feel that there is nothing that they can do to change anything. They have no funds to sustain their families, there is no food for them to eat as well, not even a drop of water for them to take. Therefore, they have devised several way outs,” she further disclosed.

“Aids from the United Nations and African Union mainly stop at Mogadishu, Somalia; it does not reach the affected people in Somaliland. When natural disasters like this happen human race, politics should be placed aside and true humanitarianism and universal or borderless patriotism should be our number one priority. It’s a pity the world is just getting closed hearted day by day. The situation on ground is just too catastrophic. I therefore implore AU, UN and other concern humanitarian groups and philanthropic individuals to extend their aids to victims of drought in Somaliland,” said Abdirahman Ismail, Executive Director  of Peace December Horn of Africa.

However, to save the face of UN in Somaliland, representatives of UNICEF, WFP, UNCHR, UNDP, FAO, and UN-Habitat recently donated a sum of $7000 – personal contributions from the salaries of international and national UN staff based in Hargeisa, the country’s capital city.

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