Emergency Directors visit Baidoa and Kismaayo to assess humanitarian needs of drought victims
Emergency Directors today visited Baidoa and Kismaayo to assess the impact of drought on populations in South West and Jubbaland states which are the worst affected throughout Somalia.
“There are now over 150,000 people that have newly been displaced in Baidoa because of the drought. We have come from headquarters of UN and international NGOs to see the situation and support the response,” said John Ging Director of the Operational Division of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
Following meetings with all the stakeholders, it was agreed that the humanitarian organizations and the federal states would work more closely together to scale-up the humanitarian response according to Mr. Ging.
The delegation visited two camps for internally displaced people in Beerta Muuri in Baidoa and Dalxiska in Kismaayo. The team also visited a Cholera Treatment Center in Bay regional hospital in Baidoa and Kismaayo General Hospital.
In Baidoa, the delegation met many recovering patients including Habiba Ahmed who talked about her mother’s plight.
“She got sick at Goof Gaduud Shabellow. She was suffering from diarrhea and vomiting. Her health situation is better than yesterday. We got good doctors, better medical check-up, chlorine and oral rehydration salts,” she said.
At Kismaayo General Hospital the delegation heard from Barwaqo Mohamed Ali about how he fell ill while caring for a child.
“I got sick with diarrhea while looking after a sick child in the hospital. I was admitted in this ward. My health situation is better now. I was admitted suffering from diarrhea and vomiting but now I am recovering,” He said.
The delegation held discussions with the South West State authorities including President, Sharif Hassan Sheikh Adan in Baidoa. In Kismaayo they met with authorities including the First Vice President of Jubbaland, Mohamud Sayid Adan.
“We talked about how we can work together to fight the drought and to prevent famine from happening so as to ensure people get the type of assistance they deserve,” said Mr. de Clercq.
President Adan of South West State urged federal government forces and the African Union Mission in Somalia to help open up supply routes blocked by Al-Shabaab to enable people affected by drought to access humanitarian aid.
Jubbaland state’s Deputy Minister of Interior, Abdirahmam Mohamed Hussein said the state government and UN officials had agreed to “speed up” their collective response to the growing numbers of people affected by drought.
Vincent Lelei, Deputy Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia said: “Somalia as a whole has a very serious problem with a population of more than 6.2 million in need of humanitarian assistance, out of that more than 700,000 come from Jubbaland state. Already very many of them have been displaced and many of them are sheltered in Kismaayo.”