Following the cancellation of presidential elections and the beginning of fratricidal conflict due to tribal rivalries exacerbated by dictator Riyaale’s tyrannical administration, the degradation of the socioeconomic conditions and the advanced political disintegration of Northern Somalia have been the reasons because of which no proper measures had been taken to prevent the lurking natural disasters.
Recent reports released by IRIN and FAO (Locust Watch) bear witness to the lethal role played at the national Somali level by the criminal administration of the Hargeisa gang.
In this article, I republish integrally three reports.
Somalia: Desert Locusts Invade Somaliland
Hargeisa, 4 June 2009 (IRIN) - Food security in eastern and western regions of the self-declared republic of Somaliland is under threat following an invasion of desert locusts, which have destroyed an estimated 3,000ha of farmland, officials told IRIN.
"The locusts have destroyed both farmland and grassland across Somaliland, from west to east," said Aden Ahmed Dhola-yare, Somaliland's Minister for Agriculture.
A team comprising government and non-governmental officials undertook a mission in late May to assess the impact of the invasion, which was first noted in February.
Abdi-Kadir Jibril Tukale, director-general in the ministry of agriculture, said: "The locust outbreak in Somaliland will not stop in days, weeks or months; according to our assessment, which was conducted in collaboration with international organizations such as FAO Empres [Food and Agriculture Organization anti-locust project] and other stakeholders, the desert locust outbreak will continue until September because the locusts have already buried their eggs within a 700 sqkm stretch in the west coast, particularly in Salal, Awdal, Hargeisa, and Sahel regions [west and mid-west of Somaliland]."
An FAO official, who requested anonymity, said the locust invasion had destroyed several hundred farms in Qabri Bahar area of Awdal region and along the 700km coastline from Lawya-adda to Karin, east of the town of Berbera, as well as the farmlands in Berbera region and around the Golis mountains.
However, the FAO official said, the assessment team did not survey the extent of loss in Berbera region because the team had "already assessed the west of the region, particularly Awdal and Salal areas, which were the first areas to be affected by the invasion".
Agriculture minister Dhola-yare said the government and its partners had been fighting the locust invasion in the past several months but "the problem of Salal and Awdal regions is that the locusts have destroyed the trees and the grass and several farmlands".
The minister expressed concern over the spread of the locusts, saying nowhere was safe.
"The latest invasion in the last several days has been in areas surrounding the capital [Hargeisa] and Aw-Barkhadle; the anti-locust planes used to spray the affected areas have only been able to cover 100-200km a day," Dhola-yare said.
The project to spray the locust-affected areas started in April and is funded by FAO Empres and implemented by the Desert Locust Control Organization, a regional organization based in Nairobi, Kenya.
Dhola-yare urged local communities to report any locust swarm to avoid further spread.
Somaliland resident Abdi-Aziz Ahmed said: "We passed from Berbera Airport to Daraygodle village, 15km away, and in 48 hours the locusts had eaten all the trees and the grass and were moving towards the Red Sea."
Somalia: Food Insecurity Concerns After Poor Rains in Somaliland
Hargeisa, 10 June 2009 (IRIN) - Officials in Somalia's self-declared Republic of Somaliland are concerned about food security following poor rains during the March-May planting season, known as the Gu'.
Mohamed Muse Awale, chairman of the National Environment Research and Disaster Preparedness Agency (NERAD), said the situation was deteriorating throughout the country as nowhere had experienced reliable rains.
"A little rain has been reported in Golis mountains and the west of the country, but even these places dramatically dried up as soon as Xaggaa [summer] winds started; we are coming together with our partners from the Somaliland government and our international partners in the Ministry of Interior to discuss how to handle this problem," Awale said.
He added: "We are now collecting information from the remote areas, where NERAD does not have offices, with the collaboration of the Ministry of Interior, which has radio calls in everywhere in the country; after that we will call for help."
Unless additional rainfall is experienced in June, there could be crop failure in many parts of Somaliland, officials of the Food Security Analysis Unit (FSAU) of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said.
Mahdi Geidi Kayad, an FSAU liaison officer in Somaliland, said the 2009 Gu’ rainfall was way below normal in terms of distribution and coverage.
"The normal rainfall average is 500-600mm but only 40-60 percent of the normal average has been received so far," Kayad said. "For this reason, it is predicted [that] if additional rains do not fall in June, about 80 percent of crop production failure [will be recorded] in Hargeisa and Awdal regions."
The FSAU report also noted that livestock had died due to drought in the region.
"Most of the new-born lambs died due to lack of milk or fresh grass to eat; sheep were the hardest hit by the drought, particularly emaciated ewes, while giving birth," the report said. "Their death rate abruptly went extremely high, about 30-45 percent in most areas of Gabi and Sool plateau."
Moreover, drought-related livestock diseases increased, FSAU said, adding that carcasses of dead animals were found everywhere, especially in Upper Nugal, Gabi Valley and Sool Plateau.
Ahmed Aw Dahir, mayor of Las Anod, the administrative capital of Sool, said: "The rainfall was much below normal; the Haggaa seasonal winds have started. For this reason, we are worried if more rains do not fall soon severe drought may erupt in the region, as well as the surrounding regions.
"This will impact badly on the livelihood of both pastoralists and people in the urban centres, who depend on the rural agricultural areas."
Swarms from N. Somalia Move into Eastern Ethiopia
Desert Locust situation update 10 June 2009
The current Desert Locust situation remains critical in the Horn of Africa and on the southern Arabian Peninsula.
In the past few days, at least five small immature Desert Locust swarms crossed into eastern Ethiopia from adjacent areas in northwest Somalia. Aerial control operations were immediately mounted and treated a 1.5 sq. km swarm near Harar on 7 June and a 1 sq. km swarm near Dire Dawa on the 8th. The swarms are very mobile and difficult to follow. There are also reports of swarms in the Rift Valley north of Dire Dawa and in the Harar Highlands between Dire Dawa and Harar in the Shinile and Komblocha areas.
The irregular and highly variable winds are carrying the swarms back and forth across the Ethiopian/Somali border between Djibouti and Boroma, N. Somalia. Consequently, there is a high risk that swarms may move in a number of different directions:
(1) from NW Somalia (between Boroma, the coast and Djibouti) southwest to Dire Dawa and the Rift Valley in Ethiopia, reaching the highlands north of Addis Ababa and perhaps continuing to the summer breeding areas in Sudan and Eritrea
(2) from the plateau and escarpment in NW Somalia (between Boroma and Hargeisa) northeast to the Berbera coast
(3) from the plateau and escarpment (between Hargeisa and Burao) northwards to the Gulf of Aden, perhaps reaching southern Yemen
(4) from the plateau (east of Burao) northeast to Puntland and the Gulf of Aden, perhaps reaching southern Oman and continuing to the summer breeding areas along both sides of the Indo-Pakistan border.
Today, an immature swarm was seen in the highlands north of Addis Ababa in North Wello zone. National survey teams have been deployed in northern Ethiopia.
Given the complexity of the possible migrations and the seriousness of the current situation, the concerned countries (Eritrea, Ethiopia, Oman, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen) should be alert and take the necessary precautions.
link: http://www.buzzle.com/articles/the-end-of-somaliland-i-from-social-political-chaos-to-economic-envir onmental-calamities.html