A desperate and largely unknown humanitarian crisis is deteriorating in the Lake Chad Basin region of West Africa, forcing millions of people to flee their homes and leaving millions more in need of humanitarian assistance. Oxfam is providing life-saving support but help is urgently needed to prevent the crisis turning into a catastrophe.
“I’ve been fetching water from a nearby shallow well, by using leaky plastic packets,” Medina explained, a displaced mother of two. “I used to lose more than half of the water in the packet en route to coming back home.”
Medina and her family currently live in a camp for displaced persons in Mogadishu’s Boondheere District. This squalid camp is on land that was formerly Somalia’s Interior Ministry. Medina’s family has been living here for the past six months after they fled the Afgooye Corridor, the scene of recent fighting.
Since Medina’s family was displaced and living in unsanitary conditions, getting potable water stored in a clean container was a challenge. This was a threat to the health of her children, as waterborne diseases are a constant threat in the capital. But thanks to a partnership between Oxfam and the national Somali organization HIJRA, Medina and thousands of other displaced Somalis have received a brand new jerry can.
“I can now fetch water and bring it to my shelter without spilling a drop on the way,” an appreciative Medina said. “Most of the IDPs in this camp were facing difficulties in getting containers to fetch and store water, but now they are feeling more comfortable after getting new jerry cans.”
With funding and support from Oxfam, HIJRA has been helping thousands of displaced families that have returned to Mogadishu by supplying them with basic aid packages. These include jerry cans, and soap as part of the effort to provide water and sanitation services to displaced communities. More than 25,000 jerry cans have been distributed to displaced Somali families this year.
In addition to distributing jerry cans and other hygiene items, Oxfam has been supporting HIJRA to supply clean water and sanitation to thousands of displaced families throughout Mogadishu.
As families continue to be displaced by the conflict and food crisis in Somalia, Oxfam and HIJRA will continue to work in partnership to support displaced families in need.