UN Calls For Urgent Action To Prevent Disaster In Somalia


UN calls for urgent action to prevent disaster in Somalia

The UN top relief official in Somalia has called for urgent action to prevent a catastrophe in Somalia amid a looming drought

MOGADISHU, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 23rd Mar, 2021 ) :-- The UN top relief official in Somalia has called for urgent action to prevent a catastrophe in Somalia amid a looming drought.

Adam Abdelmoula, deputy special representative of the Secretary-General and UN resident and humanitarian coordinator for Somalia said about 3.4 million people are projected to be affected by drought in the country.

"Extreme dry conditions and water scarcity are reported in 34 districts; the worst affected areas being Somaliland, Puntland, Galmudug, Hirshabelle and Jubaland," Abdelmoula said in a statement issued in Mogadishu on Monday evening.

He said already more than 83,300 Somalis have been displaced by water shortages and dry conditions in the last four months.

"The unfolding water crisis in Somalia is a stark reminder that we urgently need long-term sustainable development solutions to complement humanitarian action and address the root causes of recurrent climatic shocks in Somalia," Abdelmoula said.

According to the UN, about 23 percent of rural Somalis drink unimproved or unprotected water and five percent drink purely surface water.

It said Somalia is the only country in the world with a gap exceeding 50 points between urban and rural use of water services.

The situation, the UN said, is particularly challenging for women and children, particularly girls since scarcity increases the care burden required to collect water, as well as risk of abuse and gender-based violence.

Abdelmoula said the UN expects water scarcity to escalate the risk of communicable disease outbreaks such as acute watery diarrhea, increase the vulnerability of already at-risk populations and aggravate food insecurity.

"Without sustained humanitarian assistance, an estimated 2.65 million Somalis are expected to face crisis or worse levels of food insecurity through June due to forecasted below-average rainfall," he warned.

The UN official said access to and use of safe drinking water and sanitation over the last ten years, has significantly improved in Somalia.

Over half of the Somali population had basic access to safe drinking water in 2019, compared to 20 percent in 2010, the UN said.

Abdelmoula called on Somalia's authorities, partners and donors, to lead on instituting solutions around sustainable water management to break the cyclical pattern of water crises in the country.

He also urged donors to ensure adequate funding for immediate life-saving water and sanitation interventions. Enditem