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UN agency calls for urgent action to address critical water needs in Somalia

December 11, 2021 at 3:33 am

Somali boys wait in line at a World Food program ‘wet food’ distribution center in central Mogadishu [Giles Clarke/Getty Images]

UNICEF, on Friday, called for urgent action to address Somalia’s critical water needs due to the worsening drought in the Horn of African country, Anadolu News Agency reports.

Some 2.6 million people are facing water shortages due to severe drought conditions in Somalia, according to a UNICEF statement.

“Water scarcity and drought conditions have contributed to increased water prices leading to displacements, diarrhoea-related morbidity and malnutrition in many parts of Somalia,” the statement said.

The current worst affected regions in Somalia include Gedo, Bay, Bakol, Lower Juba, Galgadud, Mudug and parts of Bari, Nugaal, Sool, Sanaag, Togdheer, and Hiraan regions.

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The statement said that more than two million people in 66 districts are in acute need and will require immediate life-saving water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services for the next six months.

Among the most at risk are 1.7 million children and women who are exposed to protection risks due to limited water resources.

“Without urgent scale-up of WASH services, over three million people will be in acute need by end of March 2022 and will not have access to the minimum daily water requirement of 45L per family,” according to UNICEF.

When contacted by Anadolu Agency, Somalia’s Humanitarian and Disaster Management Ministry declined to comment.

Somalia is currently battling the worst drought in decades, which has already claimed the lives of at least seven people, including five children, in the country’s Gedo region.