SOMALIA: UNCT Somalia Monitor 23 Dec - 13 Jan 1999.1.14

SOMALIA: UNCT Somalia Monitor 23 Dec - 13 Jan 1999.1.14

THE UNCT SOMALIA MONITOR 23 December 1998 - 13 January 1999


Number of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Luuq and Wajid increases A mission by Food Security Assessment Unit (FSAU) and Action Contre le Faim (ACF) in mid-December to monitor the IDP situation in the towns of Luuq (Gedo region) and Wajid (Bakool region) in central Somalia reports that the number of the displaced is still increasing. From the 60 IDP families in November, the number in Luuq has now gone up to 400-500 families (in addition to some 200 IDP families settled among the resident population), and the estimation for the IDP families in Wajid is 1,700. Also, the surrounding villages are receiving and hosting newly-arrived people. In Luuq, people are now staying instead of passing through. Almost all of these IDPs are from Bay and Bakool regions. The main reasons for displacement are shortage of food, lack of water and insecurity related to increased factional fighting. According to the report, further movements are possible and the overall food security situation of the IDPs has not improved since November 1998. The diet and food availability remain low, hygiene is poor, access to clean water and health facilities is limited, and shelter is inadequate. The available foods are skins, legs and feet of animals, maize, wild food, and sweet potatoes. The newly arrived IDPs have a better nutritional status than the ones who arrived earlier but their condition is still unfavourable. In Luuq, the four IDP camps have relatively good access to sufficient water, as they are located close to the Juba River. Despite the food distributions to the areas of their origin, IDPs seem unwilling to return before the next Gu-season (late-April to early-July). In the Luuq camps, 32 per cent of the children suffer from an acute malnutrition, out of which 11 per cent is severe acute malnutrition. The World Food Programme (WFP) is preparing to address the most urgent food needs of IDPs and other vulnerable populations in Gedo region over the coming days.

Movement of IDPs to Ethiopia and Kenya On the 25 December 1998, the Ethiopian TV reported on that, according to the Somali Regions Prevention and Preparedness Office, over 10,000 Somalis have crossed the border into Ethiopia, fleeing from the famine in southern Somalia. The people are settling in Warder and Afder zones of the Somali region, which, according to the report, are already facing food shortages. The number of the refugee remains unconfirmed. In a related development, the Kenyan Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) reported on 2 January that over 5,000 Somalis displaced by the fighting in Bay and Bakool regions have arrived at the Kenya-Somali border town of Bulo Hawa. According to the report, Medicines Sans Frontieres (MSF) -Spain, operating from Mandera, Kenya, is assisting the displaced people, who are mainly women and children. MSF-Spain, however, confirmed today that they have suspended operations due to security problems. Trocaire, CARE and WFP are presently doing some food distribution but many of the refugees are now returning to Somalia. According to MSF-Spain, 3,180 refugees received food rations at Bulo Hawa..

Prolonged dry season in the northeast Somalia An inter-agency mission to the northeast Somalia reports that the pockets of drought in Nugaal and Mudug regions are extending gradually due to the prolonged dry season. The poor nomads in the remote villages lack resources to continue surviving in badly drough-hit locations. Many wells are not functioning due to lack of maintanance and cash to buy fuel. Some common diseases related to malnutrition are reported to be affecting the health of the villagers. Also, many animals are sick or starved. Overgrazing has taken place around water points, requiring animals to be taken further away. Many people are moving to larger towns or villages. In the coastal town of Bossaso, there are IDPs coming from as far south as Bay and Bakool regions. As of now, there are no figures available for the number of IDPs in the Northeast. On the rehabilitation front, UNICEF and UNOPS have already fixed three generator sets and plan to rehabilitate three bore holes. In order to better coordinate the drought alleviation, there was an inter-agency mission comprising the United Nations Childrens Fund (UNICEF), United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) and World Food Programme (WFP) that visited 22 villages in Nugaal and Mudug regions in December 1998. Senior Puntland administration officials accompanied the mission to ensure community participation.

700 refugees return to Bajuni Islands after closure of Jomvu refugee camp The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reports that half of the remaining 1,400 Bajuni refugees left for the Kakuma refugee camp and half for Somalia as the the Jomvu refugee camp in Mombasa, Kenya, was closed on 22 December. The 700 returning to Somalia opted to use self-organised means to reach the Bajuni Islands of the southern coast of Somalia. At the request of the Kenyan government, UNHCR arranged four boats for the transportation and the World Food Programme (WFP) provided the returnees with food rations for three months. UNHCR field staff in Kismayo confirmed the safe arrival of the returnees. UNHCR-funded projects on the Bajuni Islands so far include the construction of a school, a health centre and wells in three locations. A further assesment will be carried out to determine the level of assistance required by the receiving community. Meanwhile, the number of Somali asylum seekers in Kenya increased in December. As of 1 January, UNHCR does no longer registers Somali asylum seekers but refers them to the Dadaab camps.


SOUTHERN ZONE: Despite the security situation, UNICEF, in collaboration with NGOs, continue to provide humanitarian assistance packages comprising tarpaulin sheets, oral rehydration salts (ORS), medicine, and chlorine for IDP population in some parts of Gedo and Middle Juba regions. ICRC is reportedly providing medical supplies following the recent fighting in Kismayo while MSF-Belgium is running the hospital by employing local health workers.

CENTRAL ZONE: Normal programme activities continue. During the reporting period, WFP along with UNICEF and the international NGO, CARE, distributed some 4,003 metric tonnes of food aid, mainly maize, in Bay and Bakool regions, where combined insecurity, drought and impact of last years floods are causing severe food shortage.

NORTHEAST ZONE: Normal programme activities continued. The authorities of Puntland are wotking with the UN agencies and their counterpart NGOs to assess, plan and implement emergency programmes aimed at addressing a looming food and water shortage due to drought.

NORTHWEST ZONE: Normal programme activities continued. On 5 January, administration delegates, including ministers accompanied by members of UN agencies and NGOs conducted trips to the six regions that comprise Somaliland in order to assess the impact of prolonged dry season and livestock export ban on the lives of the general populace.

End report.

Prepared by the United Nations Coordination Unit (UNCU), in collaboration with the Chief Security Advisor. The United Nations Country Team (UNCT) Somalia Monitor is issued out of various reports received from the field. It does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the United Nations.

Queries and submissions should be forwarded to the UNCU, Facsimile No: (254-2) 448439 and Telephone No: (254-2) 448434

Item: irin-extra-102

Date: Thu, 14 Jan 1999 12:33:46 +0300 (EAT) From: IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa <> Subject: SOMALIA: UNCT Somalia Monitor 23 Dec - 13 Jan 1999.1.14

Editor: Dr. Ali B. Ali-Dinar, Ph.D

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