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A report from inside Somalia

Concern Worldwide is one of the few aid agencies who operate in Somalia. The country is being devastated by the worst drought in 60 years, affecting 10 million people.

I visited a camp in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu and spoke to a number of families who have been displaced by the drought. Concern’s nutrition team are there, registering those most in need for nutrition support. 

There are about 2,000 families living in the camp. There are graves of children in small mounds in the soil. Six of these children died from malaria and there are at least five or six dying every day. 

Watch footage from the camp:

A shocking sight

During my visit, I glanced into a tent where the bodies of five children were lying on the ground. I actually thought they were dead. I went to see if the family needed assistance and the mother, Darfuro, spoke to me about what had happened since she was the only one who could get up. 

The desperation in their eyes was harrowing. The children were so dehydrated, they couldn’t even cry.

Devastating journey

The family come from the Bay region and walked most of the way to Mogadishu. During the journey they lost one child to hunger.  It took them 28 days to get here. 

Darfuro said: 

I am worried we have no food or shelter. In the rain it’s wet and too cold in the night. We desperately need food. We left the area because of drought and hunger; we had nothing there so we had to leave. We have problems here and we had problems there, we need your help and the world’s help.

Concern gave the family a food ration to last them a month and will also provide shelter, cooking utensils and other essential items.

Suffering and trauma

All around I see families like this one, suffering hunger and mental trauma, listless and desperate for help. It’s hard not to be affected by these scenes, but I somehow managed to contain myself because I know Concern and just a few other agencies are here now. But the scale of this unfolding catastrophe is enormous and so much more help is needed. 

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