Layla stands in the line to collect water at a displaced people camp in Bosaso. She’s just arrived here from South Central Somalia two weeks ago in hopes of finding help for her and her six children. So far, things have not turned out as she hoped, but they at least have access to clean water. Two weeks ago when they were still at home, clean water was nowhere to be found.
Layla is a single mom, but before the drought, she was able to provide for her kids. She had 100 goats that provided food and milk for her family. They also produced income through selling the milk and trading the goats, which allowed her to send her children to school. As the drought gripped Somalia drying up their water sources, slowly all 100 of Layla’s goats died, which left them with nothing.
Layla and her children were walking for 1.5 hours each day to fetch water from a shallow well. That water turned out to be contaminated and three of Layla’s children died from cholera.
Eventually even the shallow wells dried up and so did all of Layla’s resources. She had to do something to save her other children. So with the help of some friends, she scraped up enough money to get her and the children to Bosaso where they now are staying with another family.
“I’m so sad. I have nothing to give my children, and am now having to beg for food,” says Layla. “We went from eating two meals a day to one, and sometimes none.”
She’s thankful to at least have access to clean water from a CARE water tank that will help prevent any of her other children from getting sick with cholera.
In the midst of a horrific drought, people throughout Somalia are desperate for water, and will drink from whatever source they can find. This has resulted in the worst cholera outbreak in Somalia in five years. Since the start of 2017, there’s been over 36,000 cholera cases reported, and nearly 700 deaths.
CARE is providing cholera treatment kits in areas of Somalia where the highest number of cases are being reported. In efforts to prevent the spread of cholera, CARE has reached over 230,000 people with clean water, hygiene education and water purification tablets.
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