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Somalia, 23 February 2017: UNICEF and WFP Representatives see joint assistance for Somalis suffering effects of drought

© WFP/Kabir Dhanji
The UNICEF Representative Steven Lauwerier helps beneficiaries of the UNICEF-supported SCOPE system to fill their jerrycans with their allowance of water from the watertruck. Those eligible receive 52.5 litres a week per person.

 
By Derek Hyun Kim UNICEF WASH Specialist

Puntland, Somalia, 23 February 2017 – Two years of failed rains in Puntland have led to a drought affecting one million people particularly pastoralists who rely on water for their livestock. More than 30,000 pastoralists have moved to coastal areas which received some rainfall often leaving behind the women and children.

UNICEF and WFP are helping the communities worst affected by drought – as well as those who have migrated. The Representative of UNICEF, Somalia Steven Lauwerier, and his WFP counterpart, Laurent Bukera, led a joint mission to the field to see the impact.

UNICEF and WFP are helping the communities worst affected by drought – as well as those who have migrated either to find better grazing for animals or to find work. Drought affected families from the rural areas come to villages and live near their relatives.

The delegation travelled to Fedeeryala village in Laascaanood district in Sool, a small settlement of mostly pastoralist families. The effect of the drought was apparent by the sight and smell of rotting dead animals near the village which has only one viable water resource located about five kilometers away. The families all rely on water trucking to bring in water although it is too expensive for many families.

UNICEF in partnership with WFP is now delivering food and water to three districts in Puntland (two in Sool and one in Bari) via the SCOPE system which is a biometric database. Beneficiaries are registered on the database and are issued cards which are loaded with funds which can be used with selected retailers to receive food and water provided the fingerprint matches the one stored on the card in a chip. This is the first time that UNICEF and WFP have carried out an integrated SCOPE response as well as the first time UNICEF has used the platform to deliver water.

© UNICEF Somalia/2017/Derek Kim
A mobile SCOPE retailer in Faleeryale village where beneficiaries can receive food and water via the SCOPE platform. Beneficiaries swipe their card and can select food and request water to be delivered to their home.

 
The water is delivered weekly to the beneficiary’s home by a water truck which fills barrels and jerry cans with each person being entitled to 7.5 litres a day. Most people are living in makeshift tents along the main road from Garowe to Laascaanood.

“The SCOPE cards ensure that the assistance reaches the people we are targeting,” said Steven Lauwerier, UNICEF Somalia Representative who helped fill some of the beneficiaries’ jerry cans with water. “We are ensuring that the most vulnerable are provided with the water they so desperately need.”

Most of the families have sent the men, with the animals to the coast where there has been a little rainfall. However it costs about $1200 to transport the animals although this is payable once the animals have recovered. Others have lost all their livestock and are becoming desperate.

UNICEF’s partner, the Puntland Ministry of Health, distributed hygiene kits to the SCOPE beneficiaries and is running a health and nutrition mobile clinic while WFP provides food.

One elderly woman whose family lost all their livestock to the drought told the UNICEF WASH team “We love you.and we are expecting lot of support from your side.”

© UNICEF Somalia/2017

 
Next day the team visited Iskushuban district of Bari region where many of the pastoralists have migrated usually by truck from as far as Ethiopia. Some sparse green pasture resulting from a few days of rain was sustaining the livestock that survived the journey. The Representatives joined their government counterparts and implementing partner from the Puntland State Authority for Water, Energy and Natural Resources to look at the UNICEF supported water assistance being provided through water vouchers.

One pastoralist filling his jerry cans told the team that he had come from Baran district in Sanaag region as there was no pasture there.

UNICEF is also using water vouchers to target 1200 pastoralist households with water supplies including some 500 households in Iskushuban district. UNICEF’s partner the Puntland Ministry of Health has been distributing basic hygiene kits to the same beneficiaries to give them essential supplies such as a covered water storage bucket, jerry can, soap and aquatabs.

 

 
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