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.
#Somalia on— Eric Schwartz (@EricSchwartzRI) August 26, 2017
TomWeber_MPR</a> Mon 11am CT with <a href="https://twitter.com/yarnellmark">YarnellMark of
RefugeesIntl</a> and w Mohamed Idris of <a href="https://twitter.com/ARAHA_Relief">ARAHA_Relief
Thank you to Bashir &
IOM_Somalia</a>. Their dedication & hard work is fighting the effects of devastating drought. <a href="https://t.co/EjKsJbhF3t">https://t.co/EjKsJbhF3t</a></p>— Mohammed Abdiker (AbdikerM) August 26, 2017
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.
Worsening humanitarian situation in #Somalia due to #drought –
UNICEF</a> Latest Report: <a href="https://t.co/e4ndSyYvId">https://t.co/e4ndSyYvId</a> <a href="https://t.co/8PED9MfmeQ">pic.twitter.com/8PED9MfmeQ</a></p>— ReliefWeb (reliefweb) August 11, 2017
From Baidoa, Somalia: ‘We have no hope’ – in pictures— Stephen Latham GTAV (@GeographyVic) August 16, 2017
The worst drought in 40 years has a cruel grip on… https://t.co/uou5pmrNTg