Water trucking

Water trucking

With Our partners Yme and NorSom, GSA, is trucking water to the peopled in drought affected areas in Central Somalia. Since 1996, the Somali Regions has been either in a state of drought, recovering from a drought or moving into a new drought. The Gu season rains either failed or performed below average in south central Somalia, particularly and consequently the entire region has begun to experience multiple shocks including inadequate access to drinking water for both human and livestock, inadequate access to pasture for livestock and failure of rainfall dependent crops in both the agro-pastoralists areas communities causing decline in livestock prices and escalation of prices for critical food items thus resulting in unfavorable purchasing power among vulnerable households.

Affected communities have already begun to adapt negative coping mechanisms including reduced meal portions, skipping of meals, reduced water consumption, splitting of herds and displacements of household members. Considering the current trends, if actions to mitigate the effects of the drought shocks are not carried out in good time, it is likely that the humanitarian situation may evolve into widespread emergency.

The main findings of the GSA assessment in south central Somalia indicate that there is extreme water and food shortages and households with food deficits increase affecting the social assistance affordability of the communities in these villages.

A Short Time Solution :

Due to scarcity of water, communities are forced to migrate to locations with functioning boreholes, thereby adding pressure to the sources that are already overused or to depend on water trucking which is expensive and unsustainable. The quantities of water available by trucking fall below SPHERE standards for domestic and livestock use because of the high costs of such operations. Water trucking can only be a short term solution as more sustainable solutions are sought.

Water and pasture situation :

All surface water sources including Berkads and water Catchments either did not received water during the season or have already dried except places with shallow wells and boreholes. Households interviewed in surveyed community report that they can only collect 30lts of water during normal times. This translates to about 4lts per person per day which is 3 times less than the minimum sphere standards. The price of one drum is 5 to 6 $, the cost is very high and the community cannot afford to buy due to imminent drought of the areas and lack of purchasing power, the most priorities of the community include water, food and medicine.

Water trucking to most vulnerable drought affected villages :

Based on above mentioned summery of drought assessment, GSA has been implementing water trucking project for last several weeks as emergency life-saving project to severely affected areas in south central Somalia. Taking into account that water trucking is expensive in terms of logistical GSA has been prudently scrutinizing to target the neediest people in the pastoral area of Gal-Mudug and Hiiraan region, where there is no other alternative option of getting water except trucked water.

Although SPHERE recommends 15 liters of water per person per day for adequate provision of water, during the intervention most populations in rural area were allocated 5Liters/person/day a quantity significantly less than during “normal” times due to the following reasons:

Logistically it was very difficult to ensure delivery of 15 Liters/person/day in sparsely populated areas with limited water resources;
5 liters/person/day is considered the critical live saving indicator (SPHERE);
Only drinking and cooking water should be prioritized during Emergency water trucking programs.
GSA conducted community mobilization on awareness rising on hygiene promotion messages and are expected to change significantly and to ensure that there is no additional burden on water trucking volumes but still encourage key good hygiene practices.

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