"Thanks to CARE, the days of going to bed hungry are over” : Helping families affected by drought in Somaliland

By Edward Ahonobadha and Abdi Nour

Hodu lives in Oodweyne village in Burao in Somaliland. She is a mother of three children and is expecting her fourth child. Her family lost all their goats and sheep during the drought that has severely impacted the country.

“We struggled to put food on the table. There were many days when we had nothing to eat and we went to bed hungry,” Hodu says.

Along with the drought, Somaliland has also faced a cholera outbreak. Thousands of farmers have lost all their livestock, and with it, their source of food and income. In total, more than 18 million people across the region are facing food insecurity.

Hodu and her family depended on the animals to have food to eat, and when they all died, the family went for days without food. Some days, Hodu gave her children black tea. That was their only meal in the evening. Sometimes their neighbours shared maize with them, so they could at least eat something.

“We had to find an alternative source of income, so my husband started burning and selling charcoal at the market. Most people do not have the money to buy it, though, so he operates mainly by loaning out the charcoal.”

Hodu and her family are now receiving assistance from CARE.

“We are now a bit optimistic about the future, but things are still tough. My children were adjusting to the new foods and diet, but now they are fine. In the past, all that we thought about all day was where the next meal would come from. Clothes, school, health and housing were secondary needs to us. Thanks to CARE, the days of going to bed hungry are over,” Hodu says.

CARE is delivering emergency aid in the Burao region in the form of water deliveries and nutrition support, healthcare advice, cash-for-work programs for vulnerable women, improving shallow wells and boreholes, and the provision of psychosocial support to adult and child survivors of gender-based violence. Learn more >>