Community Update

Digital Empowerment Toolkit Now Available!

At World Pulse, we recognize the need for ongoing learning—for you and for your community! Our toolkits aim to provide the resources you need to advance your social change work.

We are excited to introduce our Digital Empowerment Trainers’ Toolkit, a dynamic resource to help you bring the benefits of connecting online to women in your community. Check it out today! »

Somalia is at risk of losing an Entire Generation!

Although most regions in Somalia has been affected by the drought but it is worse in some places than the others. Regions located in the northeastern and northern part of the country are relatively stable and has their own administrations. When rainy seasons are missed and the drought strike, communities living under these administrations who are affected by the drought received support from the local administrations and other members of the society. Unlike in the southern part of Somalia where the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and its opponents are fighting and the community been neglected. The drought hit the pastoralist community where they lost their livestock. The prolonged drought and lack of rains in its usual seasons caused rivers to dry leaving no choice for the farmers but to lose their farms as well.

The United Nations described the situation as the worst drought to strike in 60 years. About 12 million people are affected in the Horn of Africa. In Somalia, due to two year cessation of rains, the ban on foreign aid organizations including food aid agencies by the anti- government militia group called Al-Shabab and the prolonged anarchy in Somalia affected both pastoralist and agriculture societies. They lost their livestock and farms. This forced people to flee their homes and started crossing the borders between Somalia and the neighboring countries.

On the way, starving mothers and their malnourished children lost their lives before they even make it to their destination. Some mothers left their children on the roadside to their way to Dhadhaab refugee camp thinking they are dead. Some mothers carried their children on their back for hours and hours only to realize they passed away long time. It is not only the malnourished children who lost their lives but also their starved mothers as well. One heartbreaking event was an infant sacking his dead mother’s breast!

These are heartbreaking stories from the ground and the truth is they are human beings who are our brothers and sisters. It could have happened to anyone of us at anywhere in this planet. What have we done so far to save their lives? We all heard the drought stories long time ago but little we stood up to prevent or at least reduce the risk of famine occurrence.

Whom to blame for this

The following have been pointed out to be the main root causes of the famine. This was driven from research and community interviews.

The US Administration: who is only interested in relation to the antipiracy and war on terror missions. They will not allow even a single penny of aid money to get into the hands of al-Shabab, the Islamist extremists linked to al-Qaeda which controls large parts of Somalia. The US and its allies been so obsessed with defeating al-Shabab resulted ignoring the fate of the millions of people who live in areas controlled by al-Shabab.

Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government (TFG): this western-backed administration is so weak and only controls very small portion of the country. It failed to bring sustainability to the country. Also lack of transparency and accountability of the TFG’s administration resulted misusing large donations made.

Al-Shabab: who banned humanitarian aid agencies including food agencies from operating in their territory. Also they killed aid workers.

World Food Program (WFP): who did not respond to the situation. Well I do not blame them since we know they carry long procedures before they act. But taking precautions before it is too late is what was needed.

Somali Diaspora Community: the magnitude of the drought, cessation of rains and horrible stories from the ground were striking every Somali citizen’s ears but little was done to prevent the situation from getting worse. The country was suffering for over two decades and the urge need of the vulnerable people on the ground was ignored.

Everyone else: as human beings we ought to help each other. If every fortune woman helped another unfortunate woman all this wouldn’t have happened. Many lives could have been saved.

Women and children are those who suffer most in any case. Everyday 10 out of 10,000 children under the age of 5 die due to malnourishment. The famine is spreading into new regions in the country. Somalia is at risk of losing an entire generation due to the magnitude of the famine. People who first made it to Dhadhaab refugee camp had a greater chance of receiving assistance than those who were still in Somalia. Refugees who crossed the border and reached the camps need shelter, food, water and medical facilities in order to survive. Dhadhaab refugee camp has become overcrowded leading to problems of sanitation and anxiety over the spread of communicable diseases. Women and young girls are also at the risk of been raped.

As human being we ought to act collectively and save their lives. What is been done collectively is much better and effective than what is done individually. Everyone of us is unique and special in their own way. Combining all our great efforts produces positive change and makes this world a better place for everyone. Imagine if we skip one meal to feed the needy ones! Mostly the international non-governmental organizations spent almost half of the donated money on their operations and administration, little will reach to the needy ones. But if they had a collaboration with a reliable agency on the ground to carry the distribution mission, everything would have been easy.



tanvir kaur's picture

this situation is extremely

this situation is extremely disheartening Ruun. how can we, as individuals, help ?



Ruun Abdi's picture

Dear Tanvir, Thanks for

Dear Tanvir,

Thanks for reading my post and commenting. Well we can pray for them, donate we can also donate what we can through the agencies on the ground, some of these are reliable and a hundred percentage effective. For example, the Global Enrichment Foundation (GEF) and The African Future (TAF) fed 40,000 within Somalia last month and still doing more incredible work.... They are based in Canada and USA respectively.

Lets all pray for them and anyone who is needy in this world, after all we are one big family.


Nusrat Ara's picture

My heart goes out to these

My heart goes out to these people who are dying for want of food and to think the world wastes so much every second makes it worse.


Ruun Abdi's picture

Yeah it true my dear, the

Yeah it true my dear, the world/we waste more and more food every second and minute, yet there are people who are grieving to get it. Imagine walking many days yet they might not even make it to their destinations. Imagine standing hours and hours in that line waiting for food which they might not even get it. Imagine mothers carrying their children on their back to the medical cares only to realize when they reached it they were no longer with them, already dead.... May God forgive us and may they get the help they need.

Amei's picture

I am lost for words....

As Ruun is pointing out there are issues that people in power needs to address rather than their own interests. I feel for those people who are suffering and I feel resentment for those not taking decent action.

Al-Shabab is shaming the Muslims community by their selfish actions.

You are so right Nusrat the world wastes so much... a very sad situation

Hope and pray that the leaders in power would get some sense of humanity and make the right decisions.

.... not so lost for words ... :-)


Ruun Abdi's picture

I wish if the leader could

I wish if the leader could understand and realize that they cant rule if their community is no longer! What is a leader anyway? I could say "One who rules for his/her community's desires, one who sacrifices for the sake of their people..." Both the TFG and Al-shabab are just the same they just look their benefit and neglect the rest of the community, what a shame!

Magazine »

Read global coverage through women's eyes

Inside Congo's Growing Sisterhood

Inside Congo's Growing Sisterhood

Community »

Connect with women on the ground worldwide

PAKISTAN: They Went to School and Never Came Back

PAKISTAN: They Went to School and Never Came Back

Campaigns »

Be heard at influential forums

WWW: Women Weave the Web

WWW: Women Weave the Web

Programs »

Help us train women citizen journalists

World Pulse Voices of Our Future

World Pulse Voices of Our Future

Blog »

Read the latest from World Pulse headquarters

Announcing Our Prize Winners!

Announcing Our Prize Winners!

Partners »

Join forces with our wide network of partners

Nobel Women's Initiative

Nobel Women's Initiative