The village of Qotya, situated in the Toghdeer province in Somaliland had once been a thriving pastoral and farming community and home to some 2,500 families. Their main source of income was growing maize, fruits and beans and livestock.

An Islamic Relief team is currently in Somaliland to assess the effects the drought has had on communities. Speaking to village elder, Hoosain Omar Guleid (50), the team heard first-hand of the deteriorating conditions.

“There has been no rain since July last year and the reservoir dried up six months ago. We have not done any farming activities in the last year due to the drought. We lost more than 50 percent of our animals…the remaining livestock are weak and emaciated.”

He said the villagers of Qotya were now dependent on water that is trucked in from the Burao district, which costs approximately $2 per 200 litres per household.

“The women and children are suffering. Some days people cook one meal a day where others do not have any food to eat. Many families are dependent on their relatives to provide for them.”

“We have reported cases of acute diarrhoea, internal bleeding and scabies as a result of poor hygiene conditions. We urgently need water, food, livestock feed and medicines,” he added.

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