Displacement in Somalia
Somalia has been affected with several years of bad weather that has led to thousands of people with nowhere to go. Displacement in Somalia is being addressed by various nonprofit organizations that continue to donate to help the cause.

Displacement in Somalia in Numbers

There are an estimated 739,000 people that have been displaced because of the droughts between November 2016 and May 2017. Over 65 percent of the displaced persons are under 18, and one-quarter are under 5 years old. There are an estimated 388,000 acutely malnourished children in need of nutritional support, including life-saving treatment for more than 87,000 severely malnourished children.

To add to this statistics, 341,000 new displacements occurred in the first half of 2018 due to the conflict in Somalia, and the number of forced evictions also rose sharply. There were about 191,000 forced evictions in the first six months of the year. In comparison, a total of 166,000 evictions happened during the whole 2017.

Forced evictions are linked to widespread tenure insecurity, disputes over land ownership and the reclaiming of state property, particularly in urban areas. They usually occur without notice and often involve violence and the destruction of housing.

Sagar Cyclone and El Niño Drought

Another natural disaster has also led to displacement in Somalia. In May 2018, Somalia was hit by cyclone Sagar. It was the strongest cyclone in the country’s history with winds up to 100 KPH. The situation was made worse by violence in disputed areas of Sool and Sanaag regions, that displaced more than 10,000 people just after the cyclone hit.

Sagar displaced another 9,000 people in northern Somalia, and it also caused more than 9,000 displacements in Djibouti. These recent events confirm that the Horn of Africa is and will continue to be heavily affected by the effects of climate change.

The drought called El Niño that hit Somalia between 2015-2016 led to approximately 6.5 million people in need of humanitarian assistance. Somaliland and Putnam have experienced below average rainfalls for the last two years, so the El Niño has exacerbated the drought in both cities.

Flash flooding in central and southern regions of Somalia has affected 770,000 people and has displaced 230,000 people so far. In comparison, the average annual displacement of people in Ethiopia, the neighboring country, is 30,000. This is resulting after a widespread drought over four consecutive seasons.

The Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) gave $5.1 million for humanitarian support and the Somalia Humanitarian Fund (SHF) will reallocate funding to places impacted by the floods. This funding is a part of the Flood Response Plan that seeks $80 million to meet the demands of the affected population.

Cholera as an Additional Issue

Somalia had several epidemics of cholera, and in 2017, the country experienced one of the largest epidemics in history. There were an estimated 78,000 cases, including 1,159 deaths in the 16 regions that were reported.

In response to the outbreak, the World Health Organization has implemented several response measures. These include training national, state and regional level rapid response teams, strengthened surveillance and case investigations and dispatched cholera disease kits to local response partners and hospitals.

Displacement in Somalia can be attributed to violence, as well as natural disasters and bad weather in the country.

Continued humanitarian support from the government and nongovernmental organizations for Somali citizens in order to address and fix the problems of those people affected by displacement.

– Casey Geier
Photo: Flickr