Water they say is life, free of cost like breathing air, but when the commodity becomes all you need to survive, rarely will the thoughts of even good food cross your mind.
Not to mention any other basic human needs. Such is the agony of millions of children, women and men in the eastern Somali land.
Plants and animals equally face the dilemma, but how can the sun shine on those kneeling when it is not yet shining on those standing? Massive crop failures and animal losses are recorded yearly. Rapid spread of diseases including cholera and diarrhea.
The United Nations warned in March 2019 that 20 million people face the threat of famine in Somalia, Nigeria, South Sudan, and Yemen and that “the world is facing the worst humanitarian crisis’‘.
But how many times has the United Nations not warned of severe droughts running into humanitarian crisis in Somalia? Even as recent as in May 2019.
What difference do warnings make in a region shooting itself in the foot with dragging conflicts that destabilizes the county every now and then?
The conflict factor
Undoubtedly droughts are natural phenomena. Prolonged period of abnormally low rainfall leading to water shortages.
This however occurs in several parts of the world although the intensity may differ. So why is that of Somalia worrying?
The land is entangled in nature’s web of seasonal droughts as a result of two seasons of no rainfall.
It is so intense that life is unbearable in most affected areas, causing acute shortage of food because of crops failure and animal death. This even caused many to evacuate the areas.
However, the incessant conflicts that spring up in these areas due to the constant struggles between successive Somali governments and Al Shabaab, to end terrorism and to create conditions for peace, defeats the efforts to reach the most affected.
It’s been over 25 long years of conflict in Somalia. Clearly not just the drought but the conflicts exacerbate the situation.
Rainfall remains an uncontrollable factor in the Somali crisis equation and the struggle for peace keeps dangling, while millions of lives are just on the crossroads of death, as if waiting for it.
Refugees are being refused entry into other countries all over the world. How is the world expecting these innocent women and children to survive? And on who does the onus lie?
A disease that affects one part of the body, indirectly affects other parts too. This is an African proverb that originates from the Akans in Ghana. Although the international community is pushing in aid, the crisis must be faced head-on.
Efforts must be intensified to uproot or neutralize the growing conflict others are taking advantage of.
The spiritual factor
Could the crisis in Somalia have a spiritual dimension? Rainfall is one of the gifts of nature and considered a blessing from the creator of the universe.
What does Allah say about rainfall in the Qur’an, considering that majority of Somalis are Muslims, with a small community of Christians and other faiths.
“And we send down rain from the sky in a measured amount and we cause it to soak in the soil, and we certainly are able to take it away,’‘ says Qu’ran 23:18
“Have you considered if your water was to become sunken into earth,then who could bring you flowing water?’‘ Al Mulk 67:30 queries.
The same rain that survives lives is what the Bible emphasizes was used by God to destroy the disobedient in ancient days.
Throughout history, man has not been able to create rainfall, the most is to know if at all the rains will fall.
Like a double edged sword the Qur’an teaches prayers for seeking rain during times of drought. The prayer according to many scholars is similar to the one performed during the Eid prayers and can be performed where the Eid is performed.
As Somalis gear towards the end of the Ramadan season this year and prepare for the Eid, perhaps this could be the solution to this crawling crises.