More than a hundred people died in Somalia in the last two days as a result of drought-induced starvation and diseases, Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire announced on Saturday. “It is a difficult situation for the pastoralists and their livestock. Some people have been hit by [hunger] and diarrhoea at the same time,” he said, adding that 110 people 110 people had died in the Bay region in Southwest Somalia, Al Jazeera reported.
President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo had declared the drought a national disaster last week, but it is most severe in the Bay region. Khaire has urged “business people and everyone to contribute to the drought response efforts aimed at saving the lives of the millions of Somalis dying of hunger and lack of water”, CNN reported.
The Somali government’s regional humanitarian chief Abdullahi Omar Roble told the DPA news agency that they did not have enough medication to treat all the patients, adding that children and the elderly made up most of those who had died in the crisis.
Nearly 5.5 million people are face the risk of contracting waterborne diseases as the drought had led to the spread of cholera, measles and acute watery diarrhoea. At least 69 people have died in the cholera outbreak since Friday, a local government official said.
The United Nations has warned of a famine in Somalia, estimating that at more than 6.2 million Somalis were in need of aid across the African country. Local and international agencies are under immense pressure as thousands have flocked to the capital, Mogadishu, in search of aid.