Severe water shortages in Somalia cut 70% of families without safe drinking water

Somalia’s water sources are rapidly depleting as the impending drought deepens, leaving 70 per cent of households across the country without access to safe drinking water.

Save the Children estimates that thousands of children are now dependent on damaged tank trucks and unprotected wells, or forced to leave their homes in search of water.

An estimate of 632 households in eight regions of Somalia shows that reduced rainfall and severe water shortages also lead to livestock deaths, crop failures and lower household incomes, resulting in fewer meals per day for children and less nutritious food.

More than half of the households surveyed do not have enough food, and 84 percent of respondents said they are resorting to harmful coping strategies, such as depleting livestock supplies to buy food and cutting down on daily meals. … The loss of livestock also means that children have less access to milk and this puts them at even greater risk of malnutrition.

Without immediate humanitarian assistance, the crisis is likely to peak in June, when the number of children and adults in urgent need of support rises to 5.9 million – 700,000 more than in 2020, or a third of the population.

As the negative impacts of climate change intensify, the frequency and severity of extreme weather events in Somalia is increasing. In the past year alone, Somalia has experienced severe flooding, the most powerful cyclone ever to hit the country, and now an impending drought. Communities are struggling to survive as they don’t have time to recover until the next crisis.

There has also been a devastating increase in locust infestations, with swarms moving rapidly across the country, destroying crops in their path and posing a huge threat to food security.

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