Drought in Somalia
2.5 Million Somalis are in need of food relief.
>100,000 people have fled to Mogadishu for help. More than 1 million more have fled to Kenya and Ethiopia.
More than 30,000 children have died as a direct result of the drought and famine in Somalia.
Since July 2011, American Refugee Committee has had teams on the ground providing vital aid and helping Somali families. We’ve focused our efforts on the war-torn capital Mogadishu and in towns along the border with Kenya.
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*** How We're Helping in Somalia ***
>> In Mogadishu
Meeting Basic Needs
We are working in the largest camps for displaced people in Mogadishu.
Water and sanitary facilities are essential to preventing the spread of cholera and keeping people healthy, especially in crowded living conditions. We’ve constructed water systems to provide clean drinking water and are teaching people in the camps to maintain the system. We’ve also built latrines and are training families about vital hygiene and sanitation practices. Billboards with health messages have been installed in strategic locations like food distribution centers, clinics and water collection points.
In addition, sanitation committees have been formed to conduct clean-up campaigns.
At Badbaado Camp, we installed community kitchens with wood seating facilities, 100 energy-saving stoves and a water access point to serve 200 displaced families. The community kitchens provide a venue for women to socialize with one other and share news and information. They will also help prevent fires and respiratory problems that often result from cooking inside tents.
In Taribunka Camp, we’ve constructed latrines to ensure families’ basic needs are met. We’ll also soon begin rehabilitation of 3 abandoned wells at the site.
Medical Care at a Children’s Hospital
Banadir Hospital is known as the hospital for mothers and children in Mogadishu. It’s a place where babies are born and where sick children and women go for treatment. But conditions there are dire.
When we arrived, the hospital was understaffed and overcrowded. The facility didn’t have enough beds, so sick children slept on the floor – or on tables. Patients didn’t have mosquito nets to protect them from malaria. And sanitation and hygiene were deplorable.
We have provided hospital beds, mosquito nets, incubators, clothes for children, four computers for medical staff and cleaning supplies. We’ve constructed latrines to improve sanitation and plan to upgrade the hospital’s water pumping system. For the siblings of sick children, we’ve renovated three rooms for them to play in, participate in structured activities and begin to heal from any trauma and loss they’ve experienced.
We’re sending Somali-American and Somali-Canadian medical volunteers to fill the existing gaps in trained health care providers and build the human resources capacity of the hospital through training.
Food and Essentials
We continue to distribute food, including rice, cooking oil and maize, and essentials like cooking pots and utensils to hundreds of families. We’ve also distributed additional relief items including kitchen kits, tarps, floor mats, clean water containers and soap to families.
Fighting Cholera and Diarrhea
Without treatment, diarrhea and cholera can be deadly. In Somalia, many famine-affected families are living in crowded camps without adequate sanitation, making it easy for disease to spread.
We’ve launched a cholera treatment program. We’re working to open and support cholera treatment units and oral rehydration posts to treat people with diarrhea and cholera.
We’ll also have mobile clinics that serve people who don’t have the ability to get to a clinic or hospital.
>> Aid in Border Towns
Dhobley is a town of about 20,000 people and lies in Somalia near the border with Kenya. It’s the last stop in Somalia before families reach the border and make the 90-kilometer journey to Dadaab, the largest refugee complex in the world.
Currently, we're working in Dhobley to promote and improve sanitation. We're building several hundred latrines that will help the local community fight the spread of disease. Our water and sanitation programs around Dhobley will hopefully be expanding soon, however security is a constant question in the region.
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