The Somalia WASH Cluster is calling for $53 Million USD in urgent funding to tackle water scarcity, displacement and disease brought on by catastrophic drought affecting millions of people throughout the country.
A December 2021 statement by the Somalia WASH Cluster claims: “Over 2 million people in 66 districts are in acute need and will require immediate lifesaving WASH services for the next coming 6 months.
“Among the most at risk are 1.7 million children and women who are exposed to protection risks when accessing limited water resources.”
It is estimated that 100,000 people have now been forced to flea their homes to find food, water and new pastures to sustain their livestock.
Somalia sits at the forefront of climate change and has seen a severe lack of seasonal rainfalls leading to crop failures and water-borne diseases. It is estimated that 70 percent of Somalis are living below the poverty line and the Global Hunger Index ranked Somalia highest in the world with half of its citizens suffering from malnutrition.
The current droughts have dried up water sources causing a surge in potable water prices, with the Famine Early Warning System reporting that prices in some areas have increased by 172 percent in recent months.
The WASH Cluster’s plea to increase funding is echoed by Amjad Ali, Oxfam’s Somalia Director who works in partnership with the Somalia WASH Cluster.
He added: “In the 2011 drought crisis an estimated 50,000–100,000 people lost their lives…Despite the warnings, the international humanitarian system did too little too late. We must make sure that history does not repeat itself. We must act now. More than a third of the humanitarian appeal for Somalia this year is unfunded.”
A UN report released in November 2021 described Somalia’s, “rapidly worsening drought” declaring that, “Climate projections show that Somalia is on the verge of a fourth consecutive failed rainfall season and is at the risk of a potentially extreme situation by April 2022. It estimated that the Somalia Humanitarian Response Plan was only 66 percent funded with the WASH sector being significantly underfunded at only 20 percent.
The current drought is one of 30 catastrophes brought on by climate change in the last 30 years, which includes 12 droughts and 19 floods.
Somali Prime Minister, Mohamed Hussein Roble expressed his concern for the country’s on-going situation in November 2021:
“Our country is in a state of humanitarian emergency. I call upon all Somalis, business people, religious leaders, the diaspora and the international community to make concerted efforts to mitigate the suffering of those affected by the drought.”