16-02-2017 | Latest News , Africa

Somalia: Family fights to survive after drought kills grandson, 1,100 goats and sheep

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Bile Abdi’s grandson died from a lack of water, and the larger family saw more than 1,100 of their goats and sheep perish, the devastating outcome of the drought crippling families across Somalia. 

“I am 75 years old. I have not heard of or seen such a severe drought,” said Abdi.

While dry spells are not new in Somalia, a failed rainy season last year has exacerbated the conditions on the ground, and now fears of a period of severe hunger are rippling through the region, including in neighboring Kenya and Ethiopia.

Abdi and his extended family are seeking refuge – including water and viable grazing land -- in Tukaraq, 150 kilometres from their home. Like many other drought-affected families across Somalia, their situation is getting desperate.

“This drought is different from the previous droughts. People from all over do not have anywhere to escape to and some came here,” explains Abdi.

Most people in Somalia are pastoralists who depend on their livestock for survival. The drought conditions have forced these communities to travel long distances in search of water and pasture.

Abdi recounts his family’s journey. “Initially we moved to the Ethiopian border. While there the livestock we had with us fell sick. We had travelled with 1,200 goats and sheep. Only 60 goats and sheep survived. They are of no use. They cannot be slaughtered. The surviving animals were taken away to the east for pasture.”

Pedram Yazdi, a delegate with the International Committee of the Red Cross, said residents in search of food and water are being forced to leave some family members behind who are too weak to move.

“They are coming here and what I saw also is that people are sharing their food with the animals and with their camels,” said Yazdi..

The journey that these families have to take are not easy and some have not just lost their livestock but close family members as well.”

“We lost a grandson,” says Abdi. “He’s gone! He died while on our way here. Thirst and dehydration killed him.”

Abdi and his family are among many others who have sought refuge in Tukarak village. There are temporary shelters surrounding the village.

Ahmed Artan, an ICRC field staffer in charge of distributions of assistance in the region, explains the organisation’s emergency response, “There are three categories of people here. The people from the host communities, IDPs, and the destitute who’ve lost their livestock.”

“It’s a heavy burden and they cannot support everyone,” Abdi said of his Tukaraq hosts. “But, we are alive because they gave us water and anything they could help us with.”

As part of it its response to the severe drought in Somalia, the ICRC on Feb. 14 began a series of food distributions starting in locations across northern Somalia that will continue also in South-Central, including in areas affected by conflict.

“We will carry on till the end of the month and we’ll cover 36 areas, places where there are the destitute, host communities and vulnerable people who don’t have food,” Artan said.

“The people who are receiving food are among the 240,000 people that the ICRC is assisting due to the drought. Some of them were displaced and came here searching for grazing lands and water. Unfortunately, even here the drought is very harsh,” Yazdi said.

  

For further information, please contact:

Jason Straziuso, ICRC Nairobi: +254 733 622 026

Pedram Yazdi, ICRC Nairobi: + 254 700 888 131

Aurelie Lachant, ICRC Geneva: +41 79 244 64 05 

To find out what the ICRC is doing to put an end to attacks on health workers and patients, go to

www.healthcareindanger.org

or visit our website: www.icrc.org

Follow the ICRC on facebook.com/icrc and twitter.com/icrc

 

 

  

SHOTLIST

Shotlist

Location: Various

Length: 12:46

Format: HD H264 mov

Camera: Mark Kamau

Sound: Somalia, English, French

ICRC ref:

Date: February 2017

Copyright: ICRC access all 

 

0:00-0:05         WS Turkaraq Village , Puntland Somalia

0:05-0:15         Marin road across Turkaraq, man walking away, other people in the background walking up and down the road

0:15-0:24         Sky with crows

0:24-1:29         Various shots of dead animals (donkeys, goat, camel)

1:29-1:47         Various shots of dead goat with a live goat walking past it

1:48-2:11         Dead goat in the foreground, young boy drives live goats into the frame and disappears into the background.

2:11-2:21         LS bridge with dry river in the foreground. Car crosses bridge.

2:21-2:25         CU stones on dry river bed

Sound bite - Bile (Pronounced Bee-Leh) Abdi

2:25-2:33         “I am seventy five years old, I have not heard of or seen such a severe drought

2:33-3:29         Various shots of Biles family members around their compound

Sound bite – Bile Abdi

3:29-3:36         “This draught is different from the previous droughts, people from all over do not have anywhere to escape to and some have came here.”

3:36-4:12         Various shots of camels and harder walking into the short, cuts to MS AND LS of camels walking into the horizon

Sound bite – Bile Abdi

4:12-4:45

“Initially we moved to the Ethiopian border. While there the livestock we had with us fell sick. (Internal edit) We had travelled with 1,200 goats and sheep. (Internal edit) Only 60 goats and sheep survived. They are of no use. They cannot be slaughtered. The surviving animals were taken away to the East for pasture.”

Sound bite – Pedram Yazdi

4:46- 5:02        “People are leaving part of their families behind because they are too weak to move. They are coming here and what I saw also is that people are sharing their food with the animals and with their camels.”

5:02-5:08         MS Pastoralists huts with kids outside and smoke from a fire in front of the huts

5:08-5:18         CUs of kettle on a smoking fire.

5:18-5:36         Women making sounds with their mouths to encourage a camel to stand.

5:36-5:45         Two camels in the foreground, a family outside a hut in the midground and a row of huts in the background.

Sound bite – Bile Abdi

5:45-5:55         We lost a grandson. He’s gone. (Internal edit) He died while on our way here. Thirst and dehydration killed him

5:55-6:50         Various shots of pastoralists camps in Tuqaraq, some next to permanent houses of their host community.

Sound bite - Ahmed Artan

6:50-6:59         “The are three categories of people here. The people from the host community, IDPs, and the destitute who’ve lost their livestock.

Sound bite – Bile Abdi

6:59-7:15         “It’s a heavy burden and they cannot support everyone” (Internal edit) “ But, we are alive because they gave us water and anything they could help us with”

7:15-7:41         Various shots of tracks on the Garowe-Turkaq road.

7:41-8:02         Tracks arriving at Turkaq food distribution point with a man leading them pointing where to park. IDP camps in the background

8:02-8:52         Various shots of people unloading a track and arranging bags in heaps of three and a yellow jerrycan on top of the heap.

8:52-9:11         Various shots of people’s name being called out, adults and kids seated or standing waiting for their turn to pick up food rations.

9:11-10:07       Various shots of people seated on piles of bags. Medium and Closeups of faces.

Sound bite - Ahmed Artan

10:07 -10:27    “The distribution began today, 14th February. (Internal edit) We will carry on to the end of the month and we’ll cover 36 areas. Places where there are the destitute, host communities and vulnerable people who don’t have food.

10:27-  11:18   Various shots people dispersing and carrying away bags of foods into vehicles. A small track drives away with people and bags of food in the back

Sound bite – Pedram Yazdi

11:18-11: 46    “The people who are receiving food are among the 240,000 people that the ICRC is assisting due to the draught. Some of them displaced and came here searching for grazing lands and water, unfortunately even here the draught is very harsh.

FRENCH SOUNDBITES

Sound bite – Pedram Yazdi 

11:48-12:46     Ici nous sommes à Tukaraq, et le Comté International de la Croix Rouge distribue  de la nourriture pour près de 3'000 personnes.

(Here we are in Tukaraq, and the International Committee of the Red Cross distributes food for nearly 3000 persons.)

Ces personnes sont parmi les 240'000 personnes que le CICR assiste en ce moment à cause de la sècheresse qui touche l’est de l’Afrique, et essentiellement la Somalie.

(These are among the 240'000 persons that ICRC assists currently due to the drought hitting east of Africa and principally Somalia.)

(Internal Edit)

Ces familles de déplacent près de deux cents kilomètres, à la recherche de pâturages et de l’eau. Malheureusement la sécheresse est aussi persistante et dure dans cette région. Ils ont laissé une partie de leur famille derrière eux. Ils étaient trop faibles pour pouvoir bouger. 

(These families walk 200km, searching for grazing land and water. Unfortunately the drought is also persistent and harsh in this region. They have left a part of theirfamily behind, they were too weak to move.)

J’ai vu des familles qui partageaient leur nourriture avec leurs animaux, avec leurs chameaux. Ils n’avait pas vu la pluie depuis trois ans. Ces familles, ce sont donc les familles que le CICR va assister en premier.

(I saw families who were sharing their food with their animals and their camels. They haven’t seen the rain since three years. These families are the families that ICRC will assist first.)

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