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Dare humanitarian Aid with climate change dilemma looms across Somalia

The Somali Media for Environment, Science, Health and Agriculture (SOMESHA) concerns the current Food security crisis exist across Somalia though the humanitarian situation remains fragile and gains could reverse without continued humanitarian assistance. The production and export of charcoal represent a colossal loss of the country’s forests.

The environment in Somalia has already been severely degraded due to conflict and unsustainable use of natural resources. The ecosystems and livelihoods of the people have been heavily impacted due to floods, famine, droughts, and climate change. Moreover, water depletion is a permanent crisis in many areas. Illegal harvesting of marine resources by foreign vessels and wildlife exploitation are of major concern.

The Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported that an additional 1.7 million people who emerged from crisis in the past year are in a stressed food security situation and at risk of falling back into crisis without continued support to meet basic needs and enhance their livelihoods. Most parts of Somalia are classified as stressed or of phase two of food in security, which means that at least one in five households can meet minimum food needs, but are unable to cover some essential non-food needs and have reduced ability to invest in livelihoods. Although, the United Nations declared a famine in the most regions of southern Somalia on July 20, 2012.

A tear humanitarian crisis that has been deteriorating for months into the spotlight. There are many causes exacerbating the impact of this famine: endemic poverty, decades of violence, the lack of a viable governance structure, and poor land use practices. While responses should take these elements into account, they must also consider another factor to ensure Somalia's long-term food security: the potential of climate change to exacerbate existing problems and aggravate future crises. Climate change is notoriously unpredictable, and the extent to which it can be blamed for Somalia's current woes is uncertain. Internal violence has wreaked havoc on the livelihoods of Somalis by making land ownership tenuous, cutting off access to markets, and causing the country's feeble infrastructure to fall into disrepair.

An increase in population growth by 3.2 percent each year also has placed additional strain on land, leading to more conflict and environmental degradation in a society heavily dependent on natural resources. In order to ensure Somalia's future food security, a shift must take place to acknowledge the impact that climate change will have on agriculture and livestock.

The exact impact that climate change will have is uncertain given the available information. There is no adequate awareness growing among Somalis themselves about climate change and communities across the country have noticed marked changes in temperature and rainfalls, although most attribute it to divine retribution for the failings of humankind. It seems likely that the leaders of Somalia do not have the scientific background needed to appreciate the seriousness and nature of climate change as it bears on the future of Somalia.

Education and training programs can broaden this awareness and give Somalis the tools to adapt to the consequences of climate change although Somalia lacks the institutions and government structure needed to protect its population against increased food insecurity.

UN agencies such as WFP, UNDP, IOM, FSNAU, UNHCR and FAO have stepped in to fill the vacuum, but their operations have been limited and they did nothing sufficient action towards social transformation and climate change awareness. Even though, they did not trained any single journalist across Somalia on climate change coverage and knowledge in general.

For more information or interview you can be reached Mr. Daud Abdi Daud, SOMESHA Secretary General on +25261-6349997 or email:

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