To mark 50 years of Tearfund, we’re sharing about 50 countries where we’ve worked, celebrating God’s provision and power to transform, and praying for each of these nations. This week we’re in Somalia.
Somalia has faced more than its fair share of trouble and turbulence. In recent years it has begun to rebuild, but has been rocked by a series of droughts that have left over 1 million people without secure access to food.
Founded in 1960, Somalia descended into near-anarchy in 1991 after the collapse of the socialist government. However, with the end of the civil war, some semblance of order was finally restored to parts of the nation.
Tearfund works in the Somaliland region of Somalia, on the northern coast. Along with the rest of Somalia, it has faced regular famines since 2011, due to changes in the climate.
Ray of hope
There was more positive news last year, with much better rainfall. Along with market conditions and continued humanitarian assistance, this has made a significant difference. However the situation is still dire, with 1.5 million Somali people struggling for the food they need to survive.
Most of the population of Somaliland are nomadic pastoralists. The drought has driven them away from their land and into cities or camps for displaced people.
The drought has dried up most of the pasture, meaning that between 80 and 90 per cent of livestock has died. This has led to a lack of food, with rising prices and a severe shortage of clean water. Outbreaks of infectious diseases, some of them deadly, rose steeply during the famines and are still high.
The most urgent needs centre around food, nutrition, water and health. Tearfund has been working in Somalia since 2008, through a network of partners. The recent focus has been on an emergency response to the droughts.
An oasis and a beacon
A small, remote village in Somaliland is thriving, in spite of the terrible drought that has ravaged the region. It’s all thanks to a Tearfund project.
Across Somaliland, the land was dry and parched. Many communities were struggling to survive.
However in Calla Culle village, you’d be forgiven for not knowing the problems faced by others, just a short distance away…
Slender concrete gutters criss cross the village, channeling spring water to fields growing maize, tomatoes and lettuce. Goats and sheep graze nearby on green pastures.
And while Calla Culle is blessed with a spring and a favourable highland environment, the village's success isn’t just down to good fortune.