UN agency seeks urgent provision of sanitation for displaced Somalis

 The UN migration agency, on Wednesday called for proper sanitation for 2.6 million Somalis who remained displaced within the country.

The International Organisation for Migration (IOM), said there was an urgent need for the provision of shelter and water for the most affected regions, such as Baidoa, the capital of Bay region of Somalia.

The IOM field officer in Baidoa, Ali Ahmed, said “we have new arrivals here coming every day, every week. The biggest gap for the new arrivals is food, water and shelter, that is the main challenge.“

According to IOM, the Horn of Africa nation which has for almost three decades been in the throes of conflict, now adds the latest drought and the result is displacement and food shortages.

“In the first half of the year, forced displacement in Somalia was primarily due to insecurity, drought and floods, and currently a total of 2.6 million people remained displaced within the country,” IOM said.

However, Aid agencies, in collaboration with Somalia, inaugurated a Drought Impact Response Plan in June following the declaration of a severe drought in the Horn of Africa region.

According to the UN agency, out of the 15 million people living in Somalia, 5.4 million are estimated to be food insecure with 2.2 million of these in severe acute food insecurity conditions.

The IOM’s Chief of Mission, Dyane Epstein, said, “the needs are immense, and IOM is working together with the government, communities, and international partners to provide much needed support, and to ensure their basic needs are met.“

According to IOM, more than half of the population lives in poverty with the highest poverty rates found in displacement settlements, with affected populations mainly from Lower Shabelle, Bakool, Bay and Sanaag, Middle Shabelle and Banadir.

Baidoa, the capital of Bay region hosts one of the largest IDP populations in Somalia.