Tuesday, 11 August 2009

This could soon be in one of our newspapers....The water crisis reaches everyone of us.Not just the poor, black, white or elderly!!

HARGEISA, 4 August 2009 (IRIN) - The self-declared republic of Somaliland has been gripped by a drought that has left thousands of families and their livestock in desperate need of water, officials say.

"The first thing people ask you is for water, because both the people and their animals [are] seriously weak and cannot reach water wells in the remote areas," Said Ahmed Du’alle Bullale, MP for Saraar region, told IRIN on 2 August.

The parliamentarian, who recently visited Saraar, Sool and Sanag regions, said many water wells had dried up. Those that still had water served very large populations.

"About 100,000 [people] from Togdheer, Sool and Sanaag regions were displaced by the recent drought and no one is supporting [them]," he added.

The worst-affected areas included the main Saraar plains between Sanaag and Togdheer and Ba’ade, between Sool and Sanaag.

"Most people have moved to places where some Gu’ [long] rains were received, such as the mountains of Sanaag near Erigavo and the southeast district of Togdheer," the MP said.

The mayor of Ainabo town, Khalif Ismail Saleban, said about 35,000 pastoralist families had moved from other regions in search of pasture for their livestock to areas between Qori-lugud and Buhootle, where some long rains had fallen.

This had increased the number of displaced people in the town, which is the capital of Saraar region. "We have more than 400 families who lost their animals in the drought," he told IRIN.

A local chief in Ainabo, Ibrahim Isse Hassan, said the drought had also cut the market value of livestock. The highest price for sheep, for example, was down to US$38 from $42 a few weeks ago, yet the price of rice was still $36.

On 22 June, the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS Net) warned that the drought in Somalia's central region had extended north into the key pastoral areas of the Sool plateau, Nugal valley, and Hawd livelihood zones.

The situation threatened more than 700,000 pastoralists and a significant number of urban households, whose income and food sources are strongly linked to livestock marketing and trade.

"Emergency assistance is required in order to prevent severe deterioration in food security," FEWS Net said. The situation had resulted from cumulative effects of four consecutive seasons of below-normal rainfall, it noted, adding that pasture and grazing conditions had deteriorated to an alarming degree.

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Background info on our travels...Thanks Liani

There are many ways in which we can get technical about the how’s, when’s and why’s we started this journey, but ours is a story, and there's only one thing to do with a story, you tell it.

By "us", I mean 2 girls, Maria Botha and Liani Broodryk, 2 Jack Russels, Katryn and Dante on bicycles, and our amazing journey through South Africa. This is how it started:
It was one night, at a get together, surrounded by friends and family, when the reality of the moment struck. What was usually fun and games, turned stale, suddenly! Stuck in the proverbial rut! The moment was too big to ignore, so, the obvious question was, where to go from here? So as if by design, we set off to St Lucia, to new horizons, self discoveries, and a tremendous awakening.

The 'challenge' was met once we rode into Cape Town, 3 months later, after some close calls and never felt before, intense moments, we knew that this was not the end by a long shot. So, it is here, where our journey truly begins. Everyday just suddenly had a reason, and every moment counted. It was difficult, the obstacles seemed impossible, but with this came the discovery of kindness, trust, love, humbleness and courage, and the loyalty and trust of animals and nature alike.
We became aware of a whole new world, one that was so endless in it's possibilities and opportunities, we almost couldn't believe it! Threatening this world however, is ignorance and the lack of fearless leaders, ones who inspire individuals to understand and pursue their innermost truth, instead we are misguided and made to believe that war and terror is our only choice. In the midst of all this violence and outrage, is some truly amazing individuals, who have made it their life's work, to reach out to those who have lost hope, and despite efforts to promote confusion, rage, fear, distrust, the way of the world as it is told through mighty mediums, such as the media,

Since we've left St Lucia, our lives have changed dramatically. We saw that through what we were doing, and by challenging our own fears, we were starting to capture the imagination of many and soon realized that our story needs to be told. It is one worth telling, for it could very well be everybody's discovery.

Through weird coincidences, we have joined various organizations in their efforts to heal the wounded, preserve mother nature, etc.. We realize though, that what we experience first hand, could be an effective enough medium, to relay the truth about the state of our country and it's people. It's not as 'bad' as everyone fears, in fact, it's an amazing adventure, and this is how we thought it should go:
We have thought to relay our adventures on a website, which will basically contain our daily diary, pictures, video footage, live chats, etc. A wildly interactive site, aimed at showing off the beauty and diversity of our country and it's people, and at the same time, raise awareness for issues and pandemics that needs attention.