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Somaliland herders in Awdal desperate to have their livestock replenished after the cyclone disaster

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Photo|Keydka Ergo

(ERGO) – Around 44,000 camels and goats died as a result of the tropical cyclone in Awdal region of Somaliland, according to the government.

The coordinator of the Somaliland livestock ministry, Dahir Muse Hussein, told Radio Ergo they conducted a survey in Baki and Lughaya and found that most of the livestock died in the heavy downpours and subsequent cold.

The coordinator said 37,434 animals died in Baki, which was one of the areas worst hit by the cyclone. Pastoralists in Ruqi, Siimoodi, Baysaarre, Qardhiile, Kaxda, Durdurka-cad and Qotinka villages in Baki all suffered considerable losses.

Many of the pastoralist communities affected had migrated with their livestock over the border into Ethiopia’s Somali region to save them from the long drought.  They returned with their livestock at the beginning of the ‘Gu rainy season.

Mohamed Ahmed Ateeyem, the commissioner of Baki, said around 13,000 pastoralist families lost their livelihoods in the cyclone disaster.

Dayib Dahir Amir, in Ruqi village, eight km east of Baki, lost 32 goats and our camels. He has only two camels left. He told Radio Ergo that his family’s lifeline centred on livestock and they are now dependent on relief aid for survival.

In Lughaya, especially the western areas, the ministry survey documented the death of 6,559 domestic animals. Some of the carcasses have been buried or burned to contain the spread of disease. However, the ministry coordinator noted that the disposal of animal carcasses has still not begun in some places.

Mukhtar Adan Miaad, a livestock specialist in Borama, warned that the unburied carcasses posed a huge risk to human health, as contaminated rain water was draining down in to drinking water catchment areas.

He advised the local administrations to deploy bulldozers to assist in the burial exercise.  He said the disposal of carcasses should be done a safe distance away from people’s homes.

Destitute herders are receiving handouts of food, clothing and plastic shelter from international aid organizations and from Djibouti.

The ministry coordinator told Radio Ergo that local people were desperate to have their animals replaced so that they can resume their way of life. The survey has been shared with the Somaliland administration and aid organizations, with a view to catalyzing restocking initiatives and responses.

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