Drought in Somaliland

Severe drought has forced thousands of families to flee their homes in the Horn of Africa

We’ve been working in Somaliland since 2017. With the support of our partner ActionAid, we’ve supported over 4,500 families with essential items to help communities regain their livelihoods.

Working with ActionAid, we’ve provided tarpaulins, rope, kitchen sets, and other essential aid items to internally displaced families living in camps. To reduce the spread of coronavirus, strict mitigations were put in place to protect aid workers and the communities we helped.

Staff attending distributions were provided with PPE such as face masks, hand gloves, hand sanitisers and disinfectants to clean with. We also ran awareness campaigns about coronavirus, demonstrating how people can protect themselves.

Distributions of essential aid are now complete. Post-distribution monitoring (which aims to gather learnings from the communities that received our aid) has been conducted remotely, via phone.

What's happening in Somaliland?

Severe drought is devastating thousands of families in Somaliland, a self-declared republic in the Horn of Africa.  

Over the last few years, the drought has killed up to 80% of the region’s livestock. This has had a severe effect on families who rely on farming, forcing them to leave their homes in search of basic services and alternative livelihoods.

Half of the rural communities in Somaliland are nomadic pastoralists who rely on livestock for their income and survival, and extreme weather is their biggest threat.

The drought and lack of food have heightened the risk of disease and illness. To make matters worse, flash rainstorms are making it even more dangerous.

Where is Somaliland?

Somaliland is a self-declared republic in northwest Somalia.

It is hemmed between an expanding desert and the Red Sea.

In recent years ongoing drought and conflict have driven families towards urban areas, causing overcrowding and putting pressure on resources and essential services.

There is a huge need for humanitarian assistance in the area, with an estimated 2.6 million people internally displaced across Somalia. Almost 1.6 million are children.

Somaliland map illustration

How are we helping?

Since, 2017, we have provided emergency shelter to over 4,500 families in Somaliland who have fled their homes during the drought.  

Working closely with ActionAid, we have been providing essential aid to families in desperate need. Items like tarpaulins, rope, mosquito nets, kitchen sets, ground mats, blankets, solar lights and water filters can all help families start recovering.

Our impact in Somaliland

Bihi's story

77-year-old Bihi used to be a nomad, moving from place to place with his herd.  

But when his cattle died in the drought, Bihi lost his livelihood. He had no choice but to move to Balilmatan, where over 1,000 internally displaced people are now living and receiving humanitarian aid.

‘We came here because we were hungry and we didn’t have any food. Since I lost my livestock, the biggest struggle is to get food for my family’.  

Having left everything behind, Bihi needed shelter to protect his family from the harsh weather.

We supported Bihi’s family with tarpaulins, water carriers and filters, mosquito nets, solar lights and a kitchen set so they can begin to rebuild their lives.

Somalian man
‘We are very grateful for what we have received. Thank you for this.’ - Bihi

Our impact in Somaliland

Young boy playing hide behind his mother

We take the time to listen and learn from the families we’re helping.  

Wherever possible we go back to visit families and we ask questions to understand how helpful our support has been.

It is also important for us to understand whether any aid items haven’t been useful. This means we can keep on learning and improving the support that we give.

Our partner, ActionAid, carry out post-distribution monitoring for us in Somaliland. Find out what we’ve previously discovered here.

Learn more