Somaliland drought

Families pushed to the brink of survival


Since 2016, severe drought has haunted Somaliland, affecting approx. 766,000 people.

Many are nomadic families who rely on livestock. Since the drought, over 85% of their herds have perished.

This has forced families to move vast distances to seek food for their animals. Tragically, many of these families are now displaced and destitute.

Risk of disease, illness and malnutrition, especially with children, is of grave concern. Even though rainfall is scarce, flash rainstorms do occur and increase danger further.

There is a huge need for humanitarian assistance – while food, health and water are being provided by in-country agencies, there is a gap for emergency shelter.

Many displaced families are living in over-crowded, ill-equipped, shelters. They are lacking essential items, like water filters and carriers.


Mother of seven from Somaliland ShelterBox

‘We used to have so many goats, but they have almost all died and there’s no pasture for those that are left’ – Nimo, mother of seven

UPDATE: Aid in Action

Phase I: Complete

During Phase I of our assistance, our in-country partner, Action Aid, successfully distributed 441 ShelterBoxes to families across three areas.

These ShelterBoxes were customized to meet the needs of nomadic communities.

For example, the tent was replaced with two tarpaulins to waterproof existing shelters.

Phase II: Now in Action

1000 additional ShelterBoxes were packed in our Helston, UK warehouse and have been distributed in Somaliland.

A team has just returned from Somaliland. They worked closely with our implementing partner, ActionAid, conducted train the trainer sessions, project review and forecast, and setting monitoring and evaluation framework for phase II response.

The distributions for phase II were completed on February 28th reaching 1,000 households in the Maroodi Jex and Sanaag regions.

Phase III: Further Aid

The latest phase of distributions reached a further 440 households bringing the total for Project 3 up to 860.

On their way back from distributions, our team visited beneficiaries to witness & validate the impact of our response.

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I responded to Somaliland with ShelterBox in 2007 and 2009 for people displaced as a result of conflict, but this is different. This is a huge humanitarian challenge that will affect so many. I feel the work we are doing here will allow some of the most vulnerable of the displaced to continue to live as normal a life as possible with dignity, when conditions are so extreme.

– Pat Prendergast, ShelterBox Response Volunteer

As a new staff member it’s been fascinating to be in Somaliland and see how ShelterBox thoroughly investigates a scenario before it responds. This approach means that not only does the affected population receive assistance appropriate to their needs, it ensures ShelterBox makes the most of every pound donated to us.

– Dave Raybould, Operations Coordinator

As Operations Team Lead I’ve responded to the biggest natural disasters in recent years, but I’ve never been in a situation like this. The scale and impact of this drought is overwhelming and its only going to get worse until the rains come, but we don’t even know when that will happen. People need ShelterBox’s aid right now, and we’re going to do everything we can to help them.

– James Luxton, Operations Team Lead

From the field





We are working to ensure that Somaliland families have safe shelter that best suits their needs.

The items they are provided with are portable, vital for families in temporary camps so they can take them with them when they move on.

Aid has included ShelterKits, tarpaulins and kitchen sets. Water filters have also been essential in combating disease.

Watch as volunteer, Jolien Dekker, reports from the field and explains what ShelterBox is doing to help.



Café prosperity

The last time we were in Somaliland was in 2009, when we were helping people displaced by conflict.

Eight years on, as our team were travelling down a bumpy, dusty desert road, they came upon a lone tent with a ShelterBox and Rotary International logo on it.

The owner of the tent, Muna Mohammed now uses the tent as a café. Muna, aged 21, has made good use of the original tent, weaving it together with other material to form a traditional Somali house. This is a new method of up-cycling we haven’t seen before, and it’s great to see such adaptability and resilience.

Muna proudly told the team her tea is the best in Somaliland, she has called the café Prosperity.