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Animals dying of disease in ‘neglected’ area of Middle Shabelle

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Herders in Mahaday district of southern Somalia’s Middle Shabelle region complain that they are losing their goats to an outbreak of disease caused by water-borne parasites.

According to the social welfare representative in the district, Salah Fulel Haji, 430 pastoralist families are being affected by the livestock disease in areas where the water has been contaminated after seasonal flooding of the river Shabelle.

Veterinary experts say the disease killing the goats is Fascioliasis, an infectious disease caused by Fasciola parasites, which are flat worms referred to as liver flukes. The adult liver flukes get into the bile ducts and liver of infected animals, such as sheep and cattle, and can also infect people.

Yusuf Hamud lives in Aw-baale village. He said only seven of his 150 goats had survived this latest outbreak of disease.

“The disease started to spread at the end of October and the animals are still dying now – my last goat died on 25th December,” Yusuf said.

Dahir Mohamed Hassan in Dibir village, 25 km east of Mahaday town, said he had only 29 left of his original 250 goats. His family of six moved to town to stay with relatives, leaving the remaining animals in Dibir under the care of his neighbours.

“I was told that four more [goats] have become infected with this disease, so I want to sell off the livestock towards the end of this week,” Dahir told Radio Ergo.

Local people claim that up to 4,000 goats have died in the last three months of this particular disease. It is extremely difficult to verify such numbers, although experts say that Fascioliasis alone would most likely not cause such high fatalities. The disease normally appears after river flooding, when stagnant flood water becomes contaminated by livestock faeces. Other factors also decrease the immunity of animals during the flooding season, such as the windy cold climate that causes bronchitis and pneumonia.

Security is poor in this area and access for aid organisations is difficult. Moreover, the pastoralists are nomadic, making veterinary follow up more complicated.

Local people complain that they have been ignored by aid agencies and have received no veterinary services recently. Mahaday’s social welfare representative said people were constantly asking for assistance.

However, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said it completed a vaccination campaign against Peste des Petits Ruminants and Sheep and Goat Pox (PPR/SGP) last October across Somalia, in addition to two rounds of earlier treatment between March and June 2017.

Somali News

Somali fisherwoman breaks boundaries in Mogadishu

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Riyan Abukar Ali is determined to succeed as a fisherwoman in Somalia, in a trade dominated by men.

She used be a tuk-tuk driver, but took to the seas off the coast of the capital Mogadishu when the social pressures of being a woman in her previous job became too much.

Video journalists: Alinur Hassan and Mohamud Abdisamad

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Ethiopian PM says they will continue to develop Berbera Port so Ethiopia and Somaliland can benefit

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Somalia’s al Shabaab denounces ex-spokesman as apostate who could be killed

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Somali al Shabaab Islamist militants, who have carried out frequent bombings in the capital, Mogadishu, said a former leader who defected to the government side was an apostate who could be killed.

Al Shabaab fell out with its former spokesman and deputy leader, Mukhtar Robow Abu Mansur, in 2013. He defected to the U.N.-backed government in August last year.

Al Shabaab has been fighting for years to try to topple Somalia’s central government and rule the Horn of Africa country according to its own interpretation of Islamic law.

“If Mukhtar Robow thinks he can destroy Islamic sharia and the mujahedeen, he is deluded. Allah will protect Islam and Jihad will not stop just because of you and your likes who joined the enemies,” Ali Mohamud Rage, al Shabaab’s spokesman, said in a video posted late on Monday.

It was not immediately possible to reach Robow for comment.

“No doubt, Mukhtar Robow left his religion and joined the disbelievers and the enemies are still the enemies,” al shabaab’s spokesman said.

“Anybody who joins the line of non-Muslims is an apostate who can be killed.”

A report by rights body Human Rights Watch released on Monday said al Shabaab had threatened and abducted civilians in Somalia’s Bay region to force communities to hand over their children for indoctrination and military training in recent months.

“Al Shabaab’s ruthless recruitment campaign is taking rural children from their parents so they can serve this militant armed group,” said Laetitia Bader, senior Africa researcher for the rights body.

The insurgents, who are allied with al Qaeda, were driven out of the capital Mogadishu in 2011. They have also since lost nearly all other territory they previously controlled after an offensive by Somali government troops and African Union-mandated AMISOM peacekeepers.

Al Shabaab, however, remains a formidable threat and has carried out bombings both in Mogadishu and other towns against military and civilian targets.

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