Large Numbers of Somali People Displaced Due to Drought 

Large Numbers of Somali People Displaced Due to Drought 
Photo: International Organization for Migration


Cătălina Gemănari

Africa and Human Rights Researcher,

Global Human Rights Defence.

As 80% of Somalia experiences severe drought conditions, millions of people in Somalia experience water, food and pasture scarcity. While it is estimated that over 169,000 people abandoned their homes in order to find food provisions, the number could rise to 1.4 million people in the future. This is added to the already 3 million displaced people due to natural disaster and conflict. However, this is not entirely new, as natural disasters have been the main reason for displacement in the country, as opposed to conflict. In the region of Eastern Africa, over 20 million people experience the worst food security risks in the last 35 years. The Juba and Shabelle rivers are the only longstanding rivers in Somalia, they used to support the agricultural production through irrigation and fertile floodplains for crops. However, their levels are low now and are expected to further decrease in the following months. The small water reservoirs and shallow wells  have also dried up, leading to local communities having to rely on the poor quality water from boreholes.

Sources and further reading:

UN sounds alarm on Somalia’s ‘rapidly worsening’ drought, 19 November 2021. Al Jazeera English.

Statement on Worsening Drought, 20 November 2021. Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management and UN OCHA Somalia. 

Millions of Somalis Facing Conflict, Drought, Disease Need Lifesaving Assistance, 20 December 2021. Voice of America. 

Failed Rainy Seasons Create Food Emergency in Eastern Africa, December 2021.