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Posted Wed Apr 20 2011: from IRIN:
Somalia: "Worst drought in a lifetime"
Officials and aid workers in Somalia's Middle Shabelle region have raised the alarm over the plight of drought-stricken villagers urgently needing food and water. "We are experiencing the worst drought we have seen in decades; since the beginning of March, we have buried 54 people who died from the effects of the drought, seven of them today [20 April]," said Ali Barow, leader of the small town of Guulane, 220km northeast of Mogadishu, the Somali capital. Barow said Guulane and the surrounding villages of Eil Barwaaqo, Hirka Dheere and Hagarey, with an estimated population of 20,000-25,000, were suffering the effects of a prolonged drought.... He said all the water points in the area had dried up. "The remaining water points are not fit for human consumption but people are desperate and will drink anything." Tifow said almost all the deaths were water related. "Most of them died of AWD [acute watery diarrhoea] that was caused by drinking contaminated water." Alasow Sharey Bool, 80, said both people and livestock were dying in the area. "In my 80 years, I have never experienced what I have seen now. This is the worst drought I have witnessed in my lifetime."
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