Thousands of newly displaced people have been arriving at an already overcrowded Kabasa in recent months, hungry and in search of food as their crops have failed and livestock died. The drought in Somalia and the Horn of Africa is driving the overall numbers of people who are displaced globally.
Already overflowing new arrivals to Kabasa tell of villages deserted as hungry people move in search of relief, and of carcasses of goats, donkeys and camels strewn along rural roads, a catastrophe for Somalis who earn their living by raising and selling animals.
Kabasa is a sea of makeshift shelters built from sticks and covered with whatever scraps of material and plastics the displaced can get their hands on. The earth is scorched and there is no vegetation apart from bushes of dried sticks.
Mother of three, Buhoy Rahey (20), arrived in Kabasa from the Ethiopian border three months ago. She endured a gruelling 230 kilometres walk that took five days and nights.
As she stands outside her makeshift shelter with her three children Isaak (10), Abdi (6) and Mohammad (11 months) gathered around her, the grief-stricken mother tells how her husband died from hunger on the second day of the journey.
Said Buhoy: “Life was tough in my village but we were able to get by. Then as the drought continued it got impossible to survive. Our livestock died and the crops failed. We had no food. We were hungry. We had to leave to save our children.”
Buhoy and her husband Mohammad and family set out on foot with other members of their community with very little food or water for their journey.
“My husband was very weak and sick when we left our village. He died on the second day. We buried him on the roadside, and we didn’t get to mourn. I had to continue the journey, or we would have all died.”
“We are struggling here but we are getting some food and water. We have built a shelter and I will get my youngest son checked at the Trócaire health unit.”