Livestock deaths in the region began in early November due to famine as water and pasture became scarce. The livelihoods of the people of the Ogaden Somali region depend on 75 percent of livestock and the current drought is directly and indirectly affecting the livelihoods of the people.
At the beginning of December livestock in the region was divided into three categories; Some died of drought, some fled to Somalia and some were transported by rental trucks to the Ethiopian highlands. As a result, there are currently no large numbers of livestock in the drought-stricken Somali region of Ogaden.
According to reports, the drought in the region is worsening following the demise of livestock that were the basis of public livelihood. Pastoralists used to buy food with the money they earn from selling live animals, and also get meat and milk from these basic necessities of life which are now obsolete.
So far no effective aid has reached the Somali region of Ogaden, either internationally or from the Ethiopian government, with the exception of a small water trucking operation by the regional administration in a few districts.
The mayor of Addis Ababa recently sent food aid to Jijiga in 10 trucks. The donation, which included wheat and corn, was said to be spoiled food. Herari County also donated 10 million Birr in aid ($ 140,000).
Clans in the Ogaden Somali region have volunteered in collaboration with the diaspora and the local population to raise funds to support drought-affected areas. In the last two months, traditional elders have raised 100,000,000 birr ($ 1.4 million) in aid for drought-affected people in the Somali region of Ogaden.
Funds raised by the public do not have an accounting system and a system for selecting the worst affected areas but reach many of the region’s population.
The total amount of aid that has so far reached the Somali region of Ogaden is 130 million birr ($ 2 million), which can meet less than 5 percent of the region’s drought needs.
The Somali region of Ogaden is a region rich in natural oil and in 2018 crude oil exploration companies reported that the region contained 4.5 trillion cubic feet of oil. Unfortunately, drought kills 500,000 livestock and thousands of people every year in the Ogaden region.