19 May 2007 04:13

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  • Title: [SW Country]Food Security Highlights Togdheer, Sanaag and Sool February 2000
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  • Date :[10 March 2000]

Food Security Highlights

Togdheer, Sanaag and Sool

February 2000

General Situation

In February, the food security situation remained normal throughout the regions. A high influx of pastoral herders from neighboring Ethiopian Somali territory continues to enter the region. As a result, there is growing concern regarding fast depletion of pasture and water prior to the end of the jilaal period. Transmission of livestock diseases is an imminent risk arising from migrant livestock from the Ethiopian side. The impact of the immigrant herds on the environment in the foreseeable future will be closely monitored. At present, the situation is not alarming. In Togdheer and parts of Sanag regions, the mountainous grazing lands are better than other eco-zones. Due to poor rains in the last rainy season, grazing condition in the Haud low lands is below normal.

Rainfall

During the month, no rains were received. This was expected for this time of the year. As usual, the gu rains are expected in late March.

Pasture and Water Availability

In the Haud eco-zone, berkads are the sole source of water available. People and a high number of migrant herds depend on this. This will inevitably affect the water availability and price in the coming months, which will likely increase. Most villages in the Haud eco-zone and along the Somaliland – Ethiopia border have started to buy water from water tankers, for example, Duruqsi and Yu-ubyabooh. Other parts of the region continue to experience seasonal jilaal conditions. The condition of pasture in the potential grazing lands remained considerably normal for the month. In spite of this, there is an unprecedented process of increased grazing over the Haud rangelands from immigrant herds that could subsequently reverse the trend.

Food Security and Coping Mechanisms

With the exception of some Haud poor pastoral households, the pastoral wealth groups have sufficient access to food, mainly from purchases and self-production. There was adequate supply of food in the major markets of the regions. Prices of staple food commodities are also relatively low. The purchasing power of pastoralists is expected to strengthen from the increased livestock sale created by high demand in the Gulf States for the Haj period. Pastoral households’ milk consumption is normal for the period, while commercial production of camel milk is lower than the expected monthly average. Meat prices are on an abnormal upward trend for urban consumers. This trend is attributed to the short supply of local quality stocks in the markets and the overwhelming sales of export quality livestock that is dominating the markets in preparation for the Haj.

Livestock

Despite jilaal conditions, most of the livestock species are in good nutritional conditions. It was observed that livestock in the Gollis range of the Sanag region were in better condition, as compared to animals in the Haud lowlands. In general, the health condition of livestock was good, except for some camel populations suffering from acute pneumonia that disrupted the milk production of lactating camels. Due to the scarcity of milk supply, prices increased from Ssh4,000 to Ssh7,000 this month. Due to the increasing demand of small shoats for the Haj time, commercial off-take is peaking up. Prices and levels of meat production have comparatively doubled this period than the same period last year.

Income Opportunity

The main income opportunities that prevail during this time of the year are herding, trucking and the collection of export livestock. Other income opportunities are also the distribution of imported goods, employment and self-employment. During the month, an upward trend was observed where both poor and middle wealth groups engaged in livestock trade and related activities.

Displacement /Migration

Last month’s trend continues: displaced Somalis are moving into the eastern regions from southern Somalia, especially from Bay and Bakol. These people are mainly women and children who survive on charity from host communities. In Lasanod, they live in make shift camps. Recently, it has been observed that the size of the camp has increased reflecting the arrival of new IDPs. Other displaced groups from Mogadishu and riverine areas come in search of job opportunities. They seek construction jobs that are also highly sought after by local residents. In addition to internal regional displacement, large scale pastoral herders moved from Ethiopia to the eastern regions (Togheer and Sool) in search of pasture.

Market and Trade Activities

The approaching Haj period has escalated the number of shoats sold in markets. In Burao and Yirowe alone 12-15,000 heads were sold in February. The terms of trade for export quality sheep to rice continue to favor sheep sellers. For example, 66 kg of rice was sold for one sheep. Despite a fluctuation in livestock prices in Burao market during the weeks of the month, the monthly average was the same as that of last month. Prices of pastoral products, including live-animals, milk and ghee, were comparatively higher than last month.

The exchange rate of the Dollar against the Somali shilling showed a 4.7% depreciation from Ssh 8,500 to the current rate of Ssh8,900 to the dollar.

Prices of Commodities (Lasanod and Burao Markets)

Camel fresh milk Ssh7,000 75% higher than last month

Rice 50 kg Ssh170,000 No change from last month

Wheat flour 50 kg Ssh150,000 3.4% higher than last month

Export Quality Sheep Ssh230,000 No change

Local Quality Sheep Ssh185,000 2.7% higher than last month

Ghee 1 Kg Ssh50,000 11% higher than last month

Exchange rate: 1 US$ = Ssh. 8,900


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