The arid land around Xidhintha, Somaliland in January 2016. The UN estimates that 385,000 people in the region "face acute food insecurity" due to severe drought, intensified by the El Nino effect. For the past two years, rains have been insufficient for crops and livestock. Action Aid responded by providing food rations for 410 households in December 2015, digging shallow wells and creating water points with rubber sheets placed over a hole in the ground, as well as working to build agricultural irrigation projects with farmers.
 Hodan, 20 with her daughter Naima, in Xidhinta
"All my livestock is finished. I had 40 sheep and all died. It's caused by drought, no water and nothing to eat. I have 2 cows now, I'm scared they'll die. I bought some food for them but there's not enough water."
 Hodan Ali returns from the shallow well with her two-year-old daughter, Naima. The drought killed her 40 sheep, and Naima has a persistent chest cold
 Malyunn Ahmed, 30, fills her jerry can at the rubber sheet water source provided by Action Aid in Xidhintha.

"The drought affected us, we don't have livestock anymore. I had 25 sheep, I sold 5, and 15 died. The other 5 are too thin to sell. I'm always worried about them, what are they going to eat? The kids don't know about the situation; they keep crying and I tell them stories so they fall asleep. They aren't going to school, they are weak and have colds."
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 Malyunn Ahmed, 30, at home in Xidhintha with her son Sakeriye, 1
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 Amina Ahmed, 11, at home in Taysa. 

"If I get food, I eat, if I don't get it, I just sit."
 Deka, 12, prepares porridge at home in Taysa
 Deka, 12, at home in Taysa
 Nimah Mohamed, 28, at home Taysa village
 Sabat Ali Moktar, 30, works with her son on her farm in Huluq. She gets water via an irrigation scheme with a shallow well.
 Nima, 35, works on her farm in Huluq. She gets water via an irrigation scheme with a shallow well.
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 Fahima with her livestock in Aratuul village. 

"We will move if the drought gets worse because the water and food are finished. No reason to stay here. I don't know where we will go."
 Najaad, 5, with her mother Javeeria, 27, near their home in Aratuul village. Javeeria says she will have Najaad circumcised when she turns 6 next year.
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 Hinda Mohamed
 Anab's livestock was decimated by the drought. She received a loan of 200 USD to open this small shop selling grain and staple foods to her neighbors in Aratuul. 
"My daughters and granddaughters will benefit from the business. When I retire my daughter will take over. It will mean she will be independent and will not have to rely on livestock."
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