IDPs in Somalia as elsewhere are invariably marginalised and face multiple challenges. Whilst they are remarkably resilient, each has a sense of loss, whether this be of home, of their animals (some 90% of livestock has died due to recurring drought) and at times an overwhelming sense of hopelessness. Access to clean water, education, food, fuel and shelter from the elements are all problematic. IDP families will spend several hours each day to collect precious firewood to cook their food, if they are lucky enough to have food to prepare, that is. Then of course there are concerns around even the most basic healthcare and the absence of employment opportunities. Matters are made worst by the fact that IDPs have often fled to remote locations, many of which are perceived to be unsafe and thus deemed beyond the reach of local and international NGOs.The situation is often very stark indeed, with IDPs feeling as though they have been forgotten by the world.
At Abudwak the number of IDPs has been swollen not only by those who have fled violence in urban centres, but by nomads who are suffering privations due to drought, disease and the loss of their animals. The Barre-Dheere IDP camp in Abudwak currently comprises some 250 families plus orphans and others, 60% of those living there being female and 75% of camp residents being under the age of 20. As well as legitimate concerns around malnutrition and health (especially child and maternal health), there is a pressing need for education, something that can provide hope and improve opportunities.