Without water, children’s survival is threatened
“It last rained one year and five months ago,” says 27-year-old Amina. She has three children to feed and educate, but with all her livestock dead and no way to earn an income in this barren region of Somalia, she can’t see a way out of their own personal hell.
In 2017, Amina and her children left their home in the countryside when the drought killed most of their livestock. In search of water and pasture for the last of their sheep and goats, they moved to the village, closer to her extended family, who were also struggling.
According to the UN, in 2021, Somalia is facing yet another drought, which is pushing the number of children and adults who need critical support to 5.9 million – a third of the population.
Things were different before the drought
In better times, Amina made a living from the land. “I lived in the countryside where we had health and wealth. During the dry season, we used to rely on our livestock and slaughter them,” she explains.
Now, the droughts occur more frequently and last longer. And without rain, things deteriorated rapidly. “My children became sick. One of them became severely malnourished. She was admitted to Save the Children's program and transferred to the hospital.”
Her daughter, Adia*, spent 15 days in hospital recovering from malnutrition. By the time she was discharged she was healthy and smiling. But now, in the midst of another drought, Amina’s fears for her children have returned.
Amina and her children are impacted by the drought in Somalia and receive support
from Save the Children's water trucking project.
Photo: Sacha Myers / Save the Children.
A mother’s guilt
Now there’s no food or water for the children, let alone herself. Her youngest, Ahmed, is only two months old. Every night she rocks him as he cries from hunger.