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Somalia: Situation Report no. 7 – 22 Feb 2008
22 February 2008 - Major search for arms in the main market in Mogadishu, Bakara, triggered heavy fighting this week between Ethiopian/Transitional Federal Government (TFG) forces and anti-government elements. Following the fighting on 18 and early hours of 19 February, at least seven people died including three civilians and several others were wounded. Fresh fighting broke out again on 21 February with about five casualties reported. There was restricted movement in and out of the market during the week completely paralysing trading for thousands of civilians left in Mogadishu who solely depend on the market for their daily income. Despite the skirmishes, WFP supported 'wet feeding' programme is ongoing in 10 districts feeding an average of 53,000 people on a daily basis.
Meanwhile, on 20 February, the UN Security Council extended the African Union-led mission in Somalia for another six months. Currently, the mission, which has also been attacked several times by anti-government elements, consists of 1,700 Ugandans and 192 Burundian troops.
In order to eventually phase out water trucking along the Mogadishu/Afgooye road and establish more sustainable water supply, partners in the water cluster are rehabilitating and developing existing water supply systems including extension of water pipeline, and construction of water tanks, bladders and kiosks. Construction of 1,100 additional latrines and wash basins are also ongoing. UNICEF and partners commenced the second round of a health campaign to provide 56,000 children under five and 11,200 pregnant women in the Afgooye Corridor with basic immunization, Vitamin A and iron supplementation and de-worming. The first round took place in early December 2007.
Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWSNET) latest Weather Hazards Impact Assessment confirms that rainfall has been below-normal for the short rains season (October - December) in most parts of east Africa. In the central regions of Somalia, this has caused poor pasture conditions and limited water availability for the pastoral and agro-pastoral populations. Already, the central regions of Mudug and Galgaduud are experiencing severe drought. In southern Somalia, the assessment says crops suffered from the low rainfall totals, which could limit food availability until the next harvest season in March.
The priorities in the area are food and water and a number of UN agencies and Non Governmental Organisations are in the area responding to the crisis. In Galgaduud, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) completed a non-food items distribution to about 8,000 households and another to 4,000 households in Mudug region. Plans in the coming weeks to upscale operations in the area are at an advanced stage.
The overall security situation in Puntland has been unsatisfactory following threats of kidnapping of aid workers and actual kidnappings. The current situation does not yet allow a return of NGO international staff and might also compromise smooth running of operations in the area.
Severely wounded people from the bomb blast on 5 February might be discharged as authorities claim that they are taking up much needed space in the hospital. The discharges could cause concerns as some of them have undergone amputations and may need further specialized care. Humanitarian workers in Bossaso are advocating for alternative places where the people can stay. Other victims have been supported with provision of 24 jerry cans, 34 insecticides treated bed nets and plastic sheets during the week.
In response to the fire that broke out in five Internally Displaced Peoples (IDP)' camps in Bossaso on 7 February; UNICEF has provided 140 family relief kits and 280 jerry cans.
For those displaced by the Sool conflict, UNICEF has so far provided 2,000 family relief kits and supplies to purify water, including over 6,000 jerry cans, eight bladder tanks and two drums of chlorine along with training on how to use it. Agencies continue to rehabilitate wells, truck in water and construct latrines (400 planned), as well sd raise awareness amongst IDPs about the importance of hygiene. In addition, eight health posts have been provided with supplies and essential drugs, and some 6,380 IDP families have received mosquito nets. Health and Nutrition mobile teams continue to reach locations where no health facilities are available with basic health services and immunisation.
CARE International Somalia, with support from the Disaster Emergency Committee (UK), has prepared a Somali language version of 'The Sphere Project' manual to be shared with humanitarian workers (both UN and NGO) and Government officials in Somalia. The Sphere manual gives minimum standards in disaster response as well as a broad process for collaboration, and is an expression of commitment to quality and accountability in humanitarian work.
Further Information, contact:
Rita Maingi on +254 734 800 120 - firstname.lastname@example.org
Muna Mohamed on + 254 733 643 737 - email@example.com