Somalia: A Drought Victim's Story

Published on 27 October 2011

(Copyright: WFP / Susannah Nicol)

Nadifa and her family were nomads. Their thriving business, selling milk and meat from the herds of goats, was decimated by the drought in Somalia. They have sought refuge in the village of Docol in central Somalia, where they are now receiving WFP food assistance.

DOCOL -- The dark clouds of the seasonal Gu rains may be on the horizon earlier than expected, but for so many it’s already too late.

Like other pastoralists in Somalia, Nadifa’s life has changed beyond recognition over the past few months.

“Life was beautiful, we had good livestock and good rains, but gradually the rainfall situation deteriorated and our living conditions therefore also deteriorated,” she said.

Nadifa’s family lived a nomadic life, moving to where the pasture was good for their livestock. They had a thriving business, selling milk and meat from the herds of goats.  But the drought had a devastating effect and the animals started to die. The camels died first, so the family could no longer move to find better grazing, and then the herds themselves started to shrink.

10 goats left

“We could not continue living in the rural areas with so few livestock, and the pack camels we were using as transport died, so that’s why we came to this settlement,” Nadifa explained. They came to Docol, a village in the Mudug region of central Somalia.

“Only God knows how life is here. My sons have no jobs, I can’t work, my husband can’t work, and we have only 10 goats left,” she said.

But at least here they have found help in the form of WFP food distributions.  Each month they receive enough to feed their family of eight, and for that they are grateful.

Nadifa says she does not know what the future will hold. But she gazes towards the dark looming clouds and wonders if they may provide the answer.
 
 

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about the author

Susannah Nicol

Spokesperson for Somalia

Susannah worked for WFP in Afghanistan for 1 year before moving to East Africa. She is based in Nairobi.