An Action Against Hunger nurse exercises COVID-19 prevention measures.
As the COVID-19 pandemic overwhelms countries with strong health care systems, Somalia – already reeling from the cumulative effects of multiple recent shocks – is preparing for the worst. The country has experienced conflict, drought, floods, and a locust invasion, all in the last nine months.
For many of the tens of thousands of displaced families living in settlement camps in and around Mogadishu, social distancing is simply not an option – communities depend on shared resources and spaces.
“How do you expect people to practice social distancing in a camp where every makeshift house is close to each other, where we share communal toilets and common gathering areas? It’s impossible,” explains Zahra Ali Mohamed, a displaced woman.
Zahra, who first heard about the COVID-19 virus on the radio, says that if it spreads within her community, “it’s going to be a very difficult time for many because there are poor hygiene practices in the camps due to overcrowding and lack of sufficient amenities and resources.”
According to the United Nations, more than 2.6 million people are internally displaced in Somalia.
An aerial view of the crowded Kahda Displacement Camp, which hosts tens of thousands of internally displaced people, in Mogadishu, Somalia.
Help us scale up to stop the spread and save lives.