Nairobi, November 21, 2013 – Earlier this month, a tropical cyclone struck the East
Coast of Africa with unforeseen fury, hitting the Puntland region of Somalia. The
storm left hundreds of people dead, most of them children and the elderly, and
killed hundreds of thousands of sheep, goats, cattle, and camels, on which the
population depends for food and revenue.
Adeso immediately sent out teams to assess the damage and needs in some of the
worst-hit areas of Puntland. Our teams found that many roads, bridges, homes,
mosques, schools and farms were severely damaged or destroyed. Numerous water
sources were damaged, posing a risk of contamination and the spread of disease.
Pastoralist and fishing communities appear to have been hardest hit, with many of
them losing their livestock and boats – the basis for their livelihood and survival.
Due to the remoteness of the region, details on the damage are only now emerging.
Adeso estimates that over 100,000 people have been affected by this disaster and are
at risk of destitution and hunger. The immediate humanitarian need is great, and
will increase as food, water, medicine and shelter are in short supply.
Adeso’s assessments found that many people had barely enough food to last a week and
are in dire need of drinking water. Families have lost their homes and possessions,
and lack clothing to protect themselves against the extreme weather conditions.
Floods and mudslides are also unearthing landmines from the Somali civil war,
endangering people and livestock.
Adeso’s Executive Director Degan Ali calls this a silent crisis that needs to be
urgently addressed. She said that, “Although the number of people who have died in
Somalia is not as large as those affected by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, the
cyclone has caused tremendous death and destruction in an area that is already
vulnerable to food shortages and malnutrition. For the pastoralist communities, the
loss of their livestock could lead to an even greater number of people dying.
Livestock is the basis of the local economy and their only means of survival. We,
therefore, must respond quickly to ensure that more lives are not lost”.
In the short term, Adeso is helping communities meet their immediate food and water
needs, and providing seeds and equipment to restore farming. Adeso is also planning
longer term efforts to rebuild the local infrastructure and support economic
recovery and the restoration of livelihoods.
“Adeso has worked in Somalia for more than twenty years, and is uniquely placed to
respond to this crisis,” added Ms. Ali. “We know these regions well, and we have
deep relationships with the communities affected by this disaster. We hope to raise
the profile of this silent crisis and encourage more support to help already
vulnerable populations in Somalia.”
For assessments of village impacts, high-resolution photos, or interviews with Adeso
leadership or affected communities, please contact:
In Nairobi, Kenya: Anne-Marie Schryer-Roy, Communications and Advocacy Manager,
firstname.lastname@example.org (mailto:email@example.com) , +254 727 305 525.
In Washington DC, USA: Michael Zwirn, Director of Resource Development,
firstname.lastname@example.org (mailto:email@example.com) , +1 202-440-2833.
In London, UK: Kevina Mugwe, Program Fundraising Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org
(mailto:email@example.com) , +44 7745034395.
About Adeso: Adeso is an African-founded and African-led humanitarian and
development organization that is changing the way people think about and deliver aid
in Africa. We believe that development must come from within, not outside African
communities and that it is Africans themselves who must determine their own futures.
We work to prevent, manage, and overcome situations that threaten the environmental,
social and financial wellbeing of African communities. With this approach, we
believe that we can build on the foundations of our great continent and help take