Living through drought.
Sahra* is an 8-year-old girl. She lives with her family in a small village in Puntland, Somalia, but they were forced to leave their home in 2017 when most of their livestock perished in a severe drought. Without their livestock, Sahra’s family has struggled to recover.
Since we met Sahra four years ago, their situation hasn't improved. And now, as another drought intensifies in the region, Sahra and her family are facing severe water shortages and hunger. Sahra's mother is struggling to feed her 2-month-old baby as she's so hungry that she's not producing enough breastmilk. Sahra helps around the house, but there's no money for her to go to school. Sahra said, “the impact the drought has in our community is a lack of water and food. Because we don't have enough water and food for my family, my sisters and my mother are going hungry. I want to get enough food, enough water and an education.”
Sahra just wants to go to school like she used to. She dreams of goiung to university and learning both Somali and English. But she also wants to support her mother and family, helping to raise the goats.
In 2017, we supported the treatment of one Sahra's siblings who had malnutrition. Then, we provided the family with financial assitstance in 2020, and we're now providing water to their community via trucks.
Families like Sahra’s have experienced an increasing number of climate-related disasters over the last few decades, ranging from long-lasting droughts to devastating floods, locust infestations and even cyclones, sometimes all in the same region within a few months. This growing climate crisis has led to food insecurity, increased water shortages, widespread disease outbreaks, displacement and a drastic reduction in household incomes. Children and their families cannot cope, and they have no time to recover before the next crisis hits.
A Save the Children assessment conducted in February 2021 found that more than 70 percent of families surveyed didn’t have access to clean drinking water and that more than 50 percent didn’t have enough food to eat.
In Somalia, we’re providing water, food, emergency healthcare, financial assistance, and support to schools. We're also continuing to work with local governments to build the long-term resilience of communities to cope with climate shocks.
*name changed to protect identity