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Radio Ergo audience feedback report, Issued: 18 April 2024 – Somalia

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Brief Analysis

Calls this week (11-17 April 2024) to Radio Ergo’s nationwide audience feedback platform showed that many communities particularly across northern and central regions were concerned about continuing drought in their areas. They spoke of water shortages, high water prices, failing livestock, and shortages of food. A number of callers, though far fewer, called from scattered parts of the country to say that ‘Gu rainfall had begun in their areas and conditions were improving. Callers in southern riverine areas wanted information and action around flood preparation and mitigation. Several callers notably in Puntland and Galmudug complained of influxes of mosquitoes and high levels of malaria, as well as diarrhoeal disease. Farmers continued to ask for seasonal advice to experts on Radio Ergo’s agriculture programme, especially this week on problems with crops like watermelons and tomatoes. The following summarises the calls by theme.

Drought and Water shortage – a number of callers in parts of Sanag region said the drought was continuing in their areas and they were facing water shortages. One caller said prices were rising. Several in Togdher also reported drought and water shortage, with similar hopes for the arrival of rainfall soon. In Puntland, a caller in Armo, Bari region, said they needed urgent assistance as their livestock were facing lack of pasture and water. In Nugal, several callers in Garowe said drought was severe, adding that they were short of food. In Mudug, callers in Goldogob said their crops had failed due to water shortage and their livestock were getting thin. In Galgadud, callers in Adado said their livestock were weak due to the drought conditions. Others called from Abudwak, Dusamareb, Godinlabe, and Guriel complaining about lack of water, food shortage, and excessive heat. A female caller in Dusamareb said they were pleased that the area was peaceful despite the drought hardships. Further south, a few callers in Jowhar, Baidoa, and Bardera said the delay of the rains was causing problems and they faced water shortage. A caller in an unspecified location said the cost of a barrel of water had risen to $4.5 and they needed intervention.

Food Security – a caller in Kalabaydh, Sool region, said times were very challenging as they faced severe drought and diseases among their goats. A caller in Dusamareb, Galgadud, said despite having had a little rainfall, they had lost all their livestock and needed help in getting more animals.

Flood Preparedness – as Radio Ergo has been airing warnings of possible flooding in riverine areas, one caller wanted to know what measures were being taken to prevent recurrent flooding of the rivers. Another caller reiterated the warning for people to move away from low-lying flood prone areas. A caller in Bardera, Gedo, said the bridge damaged in the last floods had still not been repaired and the river was starting to fill and the area was getting muddy. Meanwhile, a caller in Nugal wanted to get more regular weekly weather forecasts.

Health – a female caller in Dusamareb, Galgadud, said their children were sick with watery diarrhoea and she wanted information on how to treat them. Another female caller in Adado said they needed aid as they were struggling with drought and diseases in the area. A caller in Garowe also wanted advice on controlling the spread of diarrhoea. A female caller in Bosaso said they had never seen so many mosquitoes plaguing the area and that old and young people were falling sick with malaria.

**Aid **– a caller in Galkayo complained that aid agencies were focused on the eastern side of the district while they lacked aid on the western side.

Locusts – a caller in Galkayo said their farms had been invaded by swarms of locusts and they were appealing for help.

**Agriculture **– among calls for advice from farming experts, a caller in Badhan, Sanag, said they had planted watermelons that kept bursting before ripening. A farmer in Guriel said his watermelons were not growing at all. A female caller in Beletweyne said their tomato plants were not growing well, whilst another said their tomatoes were being attacked by crop pests. Others complained of caterpillars spoiling crops.

Rainfall – callers from several northern regions called saying rain had arrived, although some said it was little. A geographical pattern was difficult to ascertain from the callers to this platform. In Nugal, a caller in Bihin said they had rainfall that was helping grow their pawpaws and watermelons. Another in Hamuro said their livestock now had water and fodder. Callers in Balad and Raga-Elle, Middle Shabelle, also noted the arrival of beneficial rainfall.

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