At least 110 people have died from famine and disease in a single region in Somalia over the last 48 hours, said Somalia’s Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire, on Saturday.
This is the first official death toll announced by the drought-hit country, after President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo declared the drought as a national disaster on Tuesday.
“It is a difficult situation for the pastoralists and their livestock. Some people have been hit by famine and diarrhea at the same time. In the last 48 hours, 110 people died due to famine and diarrhea in Bay region,” said the Prime Minister’s office said in a statement.
The drought has affected around 6.2 million people, nearly half of Somalia’s population, with most of the victims being women and children.
“The Somali government will do its best, and we urge all Somalis wherever they are to help and save the dying Somalis,” said the statement.
People are facing food insecurity, and many cases of dehydration and diarrhea have been reported.
The lack of clean water leaves people with no other option but to to drink from unsafe water sources, leading to the outbreak of water-borne diseases such as cholera.
The drastic decline in food crop production and dwindling livestock numbers have led to thousands pouring into the capital city of Mogadishu in search of food and refuge.
According to a joint report by the United Nations and the United States Agency for International Development, around 258,000 people were killed in the famine in Somalia between 2010 and 2012.