Amid persistent drought, a nation of herders plots a new course
Here in Carro-Yaambo, 20 miles west of Somaliland’s capital, desert gives way to more arable land, and communities both farm and keep livestock.
The drought has killed 80 percent of the livestock that nomadic rural communities depend on in Somaliland alone, and forced 739,000 to move in search of water and food throughout Somalia.
Pastoralists “have no other means of making a living.
UNICEF has projected that 1.4 million Somali children are or will become malnourished this year – a 50 percent increase since the start of 2017.
“I have never, ever heard of a drought that claims the lives of the livestock and the lives of the people,” says Ibrahim, whose herd of 100 goats and sheep was decimated to six.
“I’ve seen parents scooping up water for their kids and drinking it themselves.” ‘Water is life’ West of Hargeisa, however, aid agencies have seen success with water programs.
Today, in places like Carro-Yaambo, there has been more resilience, and less displacement of people.
“I don’t think anyone can live here anymore.
I don’t think there is a future for nomadism.” “If we want to keep camels, and sheep and goats, then we must change the way we raise them,” he says.
“Whenever people lose their livestock, they start farming.” That process, too, is helped by aid agencies.