From Laascaanood to Bossaso in Search of Peace and Safety
Amran, 35-year-old mother of six children is struggling to adapt to her new environment as an internally displaced person in Bossaso
Bossaso, Somalia, 16 April 2023: In the space of a few weeks, Amran Hussein’s world had turned upside down. She had been separated from her home, her family and friends due to heavy fighting in Laascanood in the Sool Region. A 35-year-old mother of six children, Amran is struggling to adapt to her new environment as an internally displaced person in Bossaso in the Puntland region of Somalia.
When the fighting began in early February, Amran had hoped it would end soon and calm would return to a city she had lived in all her life. She had no desire to seek refuge elsewhere. Having held out for two weeks, she was cooking at home when heavy gunfire erupted near her home. She was so startled that she spilled the stew on herself. In that moment, she realized it was time to flee for her safety.
Gathering up her children and a few belongings, mostly clothes and food, she boarded a bus from Lascanood to the seaside town of Bossaso in Bari region. Her ordeal was far from over as the long journey had taken a toll on her youngest child, Samia.
“She was vomiting and coughing and had diarrhea,” says Amran. “I brought her here when her situation worsened.”
Samia was also found with severe acute malnutrition. Luckily, she was brought to the clinic in good time and was immediately placed on treatment, which included ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF).
“I am grateful to the nurses and doctors at this hospital for the care and support they have provided my child,” says Amran. “I have received quality services at no cost. As a displaced mother with no means of income and in a new town, this was such a welcome relief.”
The Bossaso Stabilization Centre is run by the Puntland Ministry of Health and is among UNICEF supported clinics that provides free health and nutrition services. The stabilization center continues to treat children not only from Bossaso but from as far as Laascaanood. The health and nutrition services are provided free of charge.
“I really want to go back home. I have missed my life, my daily routine and my comforts. There is no dignity in being displaced. I never imagine that I would one day suffer this fate. The thought just never crossed my mind, and I am yet to take it all in,” says Amran. “Being in the holy month of Ramadhan, I pray that calm and peace returns to Laascaanood. Hopefully, I can celebrate Eid al Fitr back home.”
UNICEF supports the Puntland Ministry of Health to undertake health and nutrition programme in the region with funding from the US Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance.