Somali refugees fleeing conflict and drought spoke about the horrific conditions in the country. In an interview with Asha Aden of VOA Somali Service, a Somali woman, Waliyo Osman Hagi, reported that she and her family have been walking for 22 days towards the Somali-Kenya border.
After losing 30 cattle and countless crops to the drought, Waliyo Osman Hagi, her husband, and their four children decided that their best option would be to travel to Dadab Refugee Camp in Northeastern Kenya. Dadab Refugee Camp already houses at least 382 thousand Somali refugees.
After arriving yesterday in Liboyo, Kenya, Waliyo Osman Hagi gave birth to a girl. Hagi reports that her newborn baby’s condition is not stable and that she and her baby are both very weak.
VOA’s Asha Aden spoke to Hagi ten hours after delivering the child and Hagi had not yet eaten anything.
The remarkable story of Waliyo Osman Hagi is one of millions who have been affected by the drought. The United Nations has reported that this is the Horn of Africa’s worst drought in 60 years, affecting at least 10 million people.
So far, the drought has displaced a quarter of the Somali population. Millions of families have been forced to leave their homes in hopes of gaining refugee status in neighboring countries—or simply finding enough food to sustain them.
The Somali diaspora feels increasingly compelled to support family members in their home country, especially during these dire circumstances. Somalis in Minnesota have recently partnered with the American Refugee Committee (ARC) and the American Relief Agency for the Horn of Africa (ARAHA) in an effort to save many precious lives as they teeter on the brink of famine.
The United Nations and other international organizations have been mobilized in an effort to provide support to Somalis who live in what Daniel Wordsworth, President of the American Refugee Committee, calls “The most difficult environment on earth.”