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One of the 'worst droughts in living memory' - two years without rain in Baidoa, Somalia is affecting millions

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One of the 'worst droughts in living memory' - two years without rain in Baidoa, Somalia is affecting millions

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Baidoa in Somalia has seen no rain in two years. Cattle are dead, wells are dry and fields are empty – certain diseases such as cholera have become endemic.

The drought is the most severe in living memory. Aid agencies believe more than 6 million people in Somalia need assistance, of whom about half are threatened with famine.

People are leaving rural areas to where they think they will find food and water supplies, which humanitarian funding cannot sustain.

According to UNHCR, almost 3 quarters of a million people (739 000) have been displaced due to the drought since November 2016.



In the villages around Baidoa, there are scattered deaths from lack of food and water, but illness is the main killer.

Aid authorities admit that an official UN figure of about 550 deaths as a result of cholera and similar diseases in Somalia since the beginning of the year is “grossly underreported”. The true figure could be 10 times as many, or more.

It is clear that the worst is yet to come.