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The Situation in Somaliland

Mother of seven from Somaliland ShelterBox
'We used to have so many goats, but they have almost all died and there is no more pasture for those that are left' - Nimo

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

Over the last three 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 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. 

Bihi's story

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

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 tarpaulin, water carriers and filters, mosquito nets, solar lights and a kitchen set so they can begin to rebuild their lives.  

How have we helped?

We have provided emergency shelter to over 4,000 families in Somaliland who have fled their homes during the drought.  

Working closely with ActionAid, we have provided essential aid to families who were in desperate need. Items like tarpaulins, rope, mosquito nets, kitchen sets, ground mats, blankets, solar lights and water filters can all help families feel safe and supported.  

We started work in Somaliland in 2017, but our work is far from complete. We're currently working to see whether we can undertake more projects in the area.

Aid families have received

Water filter

Water filters

Water filters are essential for combatting disease in Somaliland, as dwindling water sources can be contaminated with diseases like cholera

Kitchen set

Kitchen sets

By providing cooking sets which contain a range of sturdy utensils, families can spend quality time together

Mosquito nets

Mosquito nets

Mosquito nets are a simple way to help protect families against insect borne diseases like malaria which is prevalent in Somaliland

Our impact in Somaliland

Olly Burn in Somaliland taking photos of Somali women

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, carried out post-distribution monitoring for us in Somaliland. Find out what we discovered here. 

what we learnt

Where is Somaliland?

Somaliland map

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.  

A closer look

Rahma from Somaliland

Family stories

Read more stories from families in Somaliland


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Distributions in Somaliland

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