Danish Demining Group

Somali drought victim: Listen to the poem I’m shouting out


One year after famine was first declared in Somalia, millions of people continue to struggle with consequences of the historic 2011 drought in the Horn of Africa. Limited access to aid in many areas and inadequate rainfall hamper rehabilitation and food security. However, in the midst of continued displacement and distress there are little signs of improvement – some even conveyed as poetry.

‘Listen to the poem I'm shouting out which is about a real thing,’ says an SMS in Somali sent to Danish Refugee Council (DRC). The SMS comes from a beneficiary in Somaliland and is sent to DRC as part of its accountability project enabling aid recipients to give feedback. The SMS poem to DRC continues:

‘I'm someone who has nothing to lose,
there is no land and no food.
It was a dangerous, hot drought, with all joy gone.
The DRC came to us when we were crying for attention.
Female and male were fed,
all of them, Ali.
If I look everywhere at everything that happened and what the DRC did,
they have left a legacy.
They will meet Somalis' needs.’

However, meeting the needs of people in the region remains a huge challenge. According to the latest data, the number of refugees from Somalia now exceeds one million people having fled the country for the surrounding region. An estimated 1.129 million people are internally displaced due to drought and armed conflict in South Central Somalia, where additional around 3.7 million are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance.

‘Restricted access to millions of people in need in some of the critical areas of South Central Somalia remains a concern and seriously impacts abilities to effectively deliver quality aid. While we are able to assist and even increase assistance to large numbers of people in Mogadishu as well as in some border areas, it is still extremely difficult to reach people elsewhere,’ says Peter Klansoe, Regional Director of DRC Horn of Africa & Yemen.

As part of its continued emergency response, DRC is extending a large scale cash relief programme distributing actual cash to vulnerable households and displaced in Mogadishu. In addition, food and water distribution as well as provision of shelter continues in Dollo Ado in Ethiopia, in Somaliland and Puntland as well as in Dadaab in Kenya, which are all areas hosting Somalis displaced due to on-going fighting and continued drought.

SMS poem in Somali:
Dhawaaq gabay dhegeystow hadaan dhab uga sheekeeyo,
nin dhagaagay baan ahay,
dhulkiyo dheefta taalaba
Abaar dhahartay dhiinjara, markay dhaqasho noo daidey
Waxa qaylo dhalaan noogu yimi- Danishka Yurub
Dhadig iyo labood waa dhergeen dhaaxba caliyow
Hadaan dheehday hagaago dhamaan aan dhinac kasta u eegay DRC dhabtii waxay qabteen dhaxal gal weeyaani
Somalida waxa ka dhiman bay dheellitirayaani.


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