"I am a farmer. My life and that of my family depend on the harvest. It's our only source of income,” says Asha Mohammed, 43. The mother of eight children is standing on her dry tomato field in a little Somalian village pulling out weeds. It's windy and clouds of dust swirl across the dry ground.
I don't think I can harvest anything from this field this year. There is just not enough water.Asha Mohammed, 43, mother of eight children
In a good rainy season, she can harvest her tomatoes every three weeks and sells 18kg for around 12 euros. Now she has to buy tomatoes herself from the next town. For the second year in a row, it rains far too little in Somalia. In the past, they could collect rainwater in their water tanks. The amount covered their own needs and was enough for the fields. Now the village has not even enough drinking water and is relying on water trucks that come from the nearest town. All families have to join forces in order to somehow be able to pay the expensive price. This water is only used for cooking and drinking. It's too expensive for the fields.
Asha's children look through an opening into the family's water tank. It is empty. Asha has to get her water from the neighbors. With a wheelbarrow and water canister, she walks to the neighbor’s yard. She pulls a bucket out of the tank on a rope and fills her canisters. With the canister she goes into a small hut made of sticks and corrugated iron behind the main house - her kitchen. Sitting on a small stool, she lights a fire and then places a cooking pot on it. They often have to skip a meal because they do not have enough water. "I cannot cook for my children without water," explains Asha, visibly sad.
Next to the hut that serves as a kitchen is a fenced area for their goats and sheep. “We have lost almost all of our animals.” The animal herds cannot find enough water and food. They become weaker and more susceptible to diseases. The local vet has more clients than ever before.
Many of the goats have parasites or pneumonia and infect the other animals in the herd.Veterinarian Ahmed Saleban
He treats the animals with medicine and advises the village on how to separate the sick animals from the healthy ones as Asha feeds her goats and sheep with dry grass. Even those who are left are coughing.
Life is hard and is just getting harder. We live hand to mouth, day to day. We are losing our fields and our livestock. If things go on like this, we will also lose our livesAsha Mohammed, 43, the mother of eight children in a little Somalian village
As a participant in CARE's cash-for-work project, she receives 90 Euros a month for her work in a project that reduces the spread of drought. "Without the work for CARE and the help, we would not survive," concludes Asha.