17 February 2021, Mogadishu – Over 2.6 million people in Somalia are expected to be in extreme food insecurity according to the latest joint technical assessment released by the Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit (FSNAU) of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET). The report cites poor rainfall, flooding and desert locusts among the main contributing factors and warns that the situation could worsen through mid-2021 in the absence of large-scale and sustained humanitarian assistance.
FAO and the Government of Somalia have emphasized the urgency to increase support to sustain ongoing desert locust control and surveillance efforts, and to provide rapid emergency assistance over the coming months.
“Despite relative progress, there has been a new upsurge of desert locusts that has destroyed crops. We will continue working as a combined force to combat the threat of Desert Locusts and mitigate the potential of a more devastating outcome,” said Said Hussein Iid, Somalia’s Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation.
The report highlights that desert locusts will continue to pose a serious risk of damage to both pasture and crops countrywide through mid-2021. In addition, available forecasts indicate an increased likelihood of below-average rainfall during the 2021 Gu (April-June) season across most of the country, which would further exacerbate food and nutrition insecurity for millions of people.
“With the Government’s support, our teams and partners have maintained operations in control and surveillance, while delivering crucial humanitarian assistance and livelihood support during extremely challenging circumstances. Expanding the emergency response is crucial and underway, with a focus on interventions aimed at reducing food consumption gaps, saving lives, and protecting and preserving livelihoods,” said Etienne Peterschmitt, FAO Representative in Somalia.
From July to December 2020, assistance reached more than 1.8 million people per month on average in parts of Somalia. This large-scale humanitarian and government support helped to minimize the magnitude of the crisis and funding is needed urgently to boost efforts to reduce the new food security threats the country is currently facing.
Approximately 1.6 million people face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse outcomes in the presence of planned humanitarian assistance during the first quarter of 2021. An additional 2.5 million people are Stressed (IPC Phase 2), bringing the total number of people experiencing acute food insecurity to 4.1 million. This also includes approximately 840 000 children under the age of five who are likely to be acutely malnourished, including nearly 143 000 who are likely to be severely malnourished. According to FSNAU-FEWS NET, from April to June 2021, food insecurity is expected to deteriorate. largely among poor rural, urban and displaced populations, due to the multitude of threats and crises. Humanitarian assistance must be sustained through mid-2021 to prevent Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes for nearly 2.7 million people.
“Somalia’s long-standing crises are compounded now by the ‘triple threat’ of the COVID-19 pandemic, Desert Locust infestations and climatic shocks,” said the UN Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General Adam Abdelmoula, who also serves as the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia. “We must continue to work with all humanitarian partners to ensure the most vulnerable Somalis are able to withstand the challenges and build resilience against future shocks. I urge all partners to work together across the humanitariandevelopment and -peacebuilding paths to address the root causes of these crises and build lasting solutions that leave no one behind,” he added.
“Greetings. These pictures were taken at Kobebe dam, in Karamoja, as I waited for H.E Uhuru Kenyatta. I was at Latitude 2° North & 48 minutes (2°48 N). You can see how green it is!! The temperature, at that moment, was 22° celsius, very pleasant. The myth that Karamoja is dry is only perpetuated by those that do not know the opportunities available. Yes, Karamoja gets rain for fewer months than in the South of Uganda” (Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, 12.09.2019).
Well, its one of those days. The President shouldn’t demystify the area, but govern it properly. As there are already warning signs in concern of the food security in the region of Karamoja in August 2019. Therefore, the President should have warned about this and worked with the right authorities to secure the public. Instead, his busy with a photo-op and spreading his good news before yet another high ranking meeting with foreign dignitaries.
Let me show first, what IPC 3 means and also what the FAO warns about. Let’s take a look.
FEWS Net IPC 3 meaning:
“PHASE 3 Crisis. Households either:
– Have food consumption gaps that are reflected by high or above-usual acute malnutrition;
– Are marginally able to meet minimum food needs but only by depleting essential livelihood assets or through crisis-coping strategies” (FEWS NET – ‘Integrated Phase Classification’).
FAO Food Security Outlook:
“In Karamoja, a typically high sorghum prices and below-average firewood-to sorghum terms of trade continue to significantly limit household food access and maintain above-average acute malnutrition prevalence. Due to a poor start of the rainfall season and reduced area planted, delayed harvests will gradually begin in September and sorghum production is expected to range from 20 to 40 percent below average on the district level. Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are likely to persist through September and into October. As harvesting progresses, food security will gradually improve to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) through January” (FAO, 30.08.2019).
So, when the President speaks of the green land of Karamoja, his not concerned or thinking about the public. As they suffer malnutrition and lacking production of sorghum in the region. This should worry a President and he should think of the public there. Instead, his blowing praises on green fields and putting up tents to meet another head of state.
This shows that the President isn’t there to act upon the warned trouble ahead. The state should act upon the problematic food security. It should create and make arrangement to secure the public get enough food, the rising malnutrition shows signs of maladministration.
Certainly, the President doesn’t want to hear that, as his all about Steady Progress, but this problem in Karamoja is prevalent and repetitive. Its not like this haven’t happen in the region before, it has and is something the NRM and President could have acted upon. That is if he cares, alas, he don’t. His had 33 years to do something and ensure food security.
This is because of the reduced area planted with crops/cereals in the region and also the delayed harvest, also a poor rainfall in the season. All of these things should worry anyone, but the President is praising green grass. So we better let him be and praise his wisdom. Because, people is starving since they believe in myths. Peace.
The Famine Early Warning Systems Network published their March Update on Uganda on the 29th March 2019. What is says is very troublesome. Especially the main message. They not yet declaring famine in the region of Karamoja, but however, they are stating the warning signs as the lean season is hitting the region. Especially two districts are in troubling times.
This I will show with the statement from FEWS NET themselves and their classification. Even if it is only on level IPC 3, the famine is IPC 5 and IPC 4 is a Crisis. So, the region is close to danger and should get quick attention. To ensure, that the districts in question have the needs. The Ministry for Disaster Preparedness, Management and Refugees, should together with other agencies ensure the needs are met for the rising food prices. The FEWS NET is worried about the March to May, as they are thinking it could terrible levels. Even if forecast seems better between June to September 2019.
Here is the warning from FEWS NET. Take a look.
– Have food consumption gaps which are reflected by high or above-usual acute malnutrition;
– Are marginally able to meet minimum food needs but only by depleting essential livelihood assets or through crisis-coping strategies” (FEWSNET – ‘ Integrated Phase Classification’).
“In Karamoja, household food gaps continue to widen as the lean season progresses, driven by limited income earning opportunities and rising food prices. Sorghum retail prices in Karamoja reference markets remained above the 2018 average in February, but below the five-year average. Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes prevail, mostly in Kotido and Kaabong. In bimodal areas, favorable staple food prices continue to sustain household food access despite below-average income from agricultural labor and seasonal declines in household food stocks, maintaining Minimal (IPC Phase 1) outcomes. Although prices are seasonally increasing, they remain below the 2018 average and near to below the five-year average” (FEWSNET – ‘Uganda Key Message Update, March 2019’ 29.03.2019).
This here should a warning, because the FEWS Net are usually right on the money. They have been in other instances elsewhere. Where their projections and their forecast has hit right on the money. The State House, the Ministry as mentioned and other agencies should start working in the region. Especially in Kotido and Kaabong district. As there it will be the most dire. That is if they even care about the possible heartache and lack of resources that is there. They need to shelter and supply with needed goods to secure the food security.
Surely, they will await it to come to levels of IPC 4 or IPC 5, when the districts are already in a crisis or in a famine. Because, acting before the first warning sign is to much to ask. To patch the hurt early, should be a main focus. But don’t count on it. Especially with the handlers and the politicians eagerly eating in Kampala, but forgetting the life up-country. Peace.
MOGADISHU, Somalia, June 12, 2017 -President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo’s statement on the dawn strike on Alshabab training base near Sakow.
“Earlier today, I authorized our special forces with the support of our international partners to conduct a strike against an al-Shabaab training camp near Sakow, Middle Juba region. This was a successful strike which destroyed a key al-Shabaab command and supply hub. This will ultimately disrupt the enemy’s ability to conduct new attacks within Somalia.”
“I said when I took office that security will be top priority for my administration. This strike will enhance security and reduce the threats of Alshabab.”
“We have long suffered at the hands of Alshabab which is supported by global terror networks. We and our international partners will take every possible precaution to protect our civilian population from harm during these operations while targeting terrorists.”
“All of us know somebody from our youth, our village, our families, who has been killed or injured by the senseless violence of al-Shabaab. I have personally met the families and the victims of several Alshabab attacks. For those who have suffered under al-Shabaab, and for the rest of Somalia, I want you to know that we are committed to defeating al-Shabaab and uniting our people.”
“To the members of al-Shabaab, I tell you that we are bringing the fight to you. If you, however take advantage of my amnesty offer and denounce violence, we will integrate you into our reform program. You have no future with the terrorists, but you can still be a part of Somalia’s future; a peaceful and prosperous future.”
The president has termed the fallen soldiers as the true martyrs, as they died protecting their people and their country.
MOGADISHU, Somalia, June 9, 2017 – President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo has sent his condolences to the families and the people of Puntland following today’s ambush on a military camp in Af-Urur, near Galgala Mountains.
The president has termed the fallen soldiers as the true martyrs, as they died protecting their people and their country.
“We are deeply saddened by the tragic loss of a number of our gallant soldiers in today’s attack in Af-Urur, Puntland. They fought hard and bravely for their country, to keep their people safe during this holy month of Ramadan. We will forever remember them, they are the real martyrs.”
The president assured the citizenry that his administration would not show mercy in dealing with Alshabab terrorists who have no regard for the sanctity of life and the holy month of Ramadan.
“This once again proves that the enemy we are facing is dangerous, is bent on causing harm to the peace loving people of this country and must be fought with by all means. We must show no mercy in dealing with Alshabab.”
President Farmaajo promised Alshabab would be pursued and would pay for today’s attack.
“We promise that Alshabab won’t get away with this. As of now, our troops are in hot pursuit of the enemy; they will pay for today’s attack. I am confident our forces would defeat this abhorrent enemy.”
President Farmaajo spoke on the phone with the president of Puntland and assured him that the Federal Government would stand by the administration and people of the region.