The ward for severely malnourished kids was full. Patients were being placed on mattresses on the ground by staff.
Mohamed, a one-year-old boy, was having a nasal drip placed to ensure he receives vital fluids.
Another boy, also called Mohamed, was being checked on the bed directly above him. He was just two months old and was born prematurely at two months. He is the second son of his 17-year old mother.
She drove 400 miles to get him to the hospital, but she didn’t think he would make it.
Sky News reported that she was “very, very upset” and “worried about his health.” “I was concerned that he would die. “I was extremely worried about him. I couldn’t sleep because of the pain.
All of the patients at Hargeisa, capital of Somaliland’s self-declared republic, have been affected by the worst drought in the region in over a generation.
For four years, the rains have been failing. Sky News’ Ward doctor Abdul Rahman Abdulahi said that he is worried about the future.
“If it doesn’t rain quickly, the situation will get worse every day. The number of patients will increase hourly and day by daily. We can’t handle it or save them.”
They are bracing for war and famine across the Horn of Africa.
Combine the effects of Russia’s invasion Ukraine with the worst drought in 40-years. Although it may be thousands of kilometers away, the war is driving up fuel and grain prices to an unprecedented level.
Somalia and Somalia receive 90% of their grain imports from Russia or Ukraine. This is now a trickle.
Nearly a third of global wheat supplies are from Russia and Ukraine. However, shipments of Ukrainian grain from Black Sea ports to Russia have been stalled since Russia invaded. Around 20 million tonnes of grain has been stuck.
Grain sellers in Hargeisa (the capital of Somaliland) all shared the same story. In three months, the price of grain has risen by 75%.
As if this weren’t bad enough, fuel prices have almost doubled making it more difficult to obtain grain for those who require it.
The world’s second-poorest country is the one where water is brought to the majority of people by trucks that fill up tanks on the streets. The drought is worse than the water supply, and the fuel costs are up to 60%.
A war fought thousands of miles away has made the drought’s effects even more severe.
Now, the drought is threatening to cause the worst famine for years. Already, camps are bursting at the seams with families who have lost all means to support their families. Parents are desperate.
Sophia was a wealthy livestock keeper. We met her. After the drought decimated her livestock, she is now homeless and lives in a tent at Mandera camp halfway through Somaliland.
Sky News reported that her grandfather was a goatherd. “My father was a goatherd. I grew up with 500 goats, four camels, and they all died. I have nothing.”
They were pulling branches and leaves out of the trees with long sticks in the background to feed the goats that had no grass.
However, it will not be easy to get food to those who really need it.
Millions across the region are suffering from acute hunger due to the worst drought in more than a century, compounded by the conflict in Ukraine.
Agencies warn that hundreds of thousands of people will starve if they don’t receive international assistance.
“If we don’t act now, there will be an avalanche in child deaths within a matter of days, famine just around the corner,” Mohamed Fall (UNICEF’s east and southern Africa regional director) said.