“I wish things improve and our children could live in peace and grow healthy.” Mariam’s Story
Mariem, 45, has ten children (four boys and six girls), and lives in a small rural village in the Erer district of the Somali Region. Three years ago, her family was displaced as a result of intercommunal conflict taking place along the border of the Oromia and Afar Regions. Mariam and her family are now live at a camp for displaced people, where they live in a small wooden shelter covered with plastic roofing.
“The first four of my children have never been to school. They are all married and live on their own. Before schools were closed, four of my other children used to attend school in the nearby primary school. However, the other two of my children could not attend school because there are no high schools in the nearby area. Here, we do not have health clinics and when our children get sick, we must walk all the way to another village, for more than two to three hours to get treatment at the health center. The shortage of food is also too much to bear, and these days we often eat dry bread made from white corn flour without sauce or milk.” Mariem noted.
Before the conflict erupted in Mariem’s village, she used to own many livestock and a house. They lost all our belongings including their house. “We carried none of our belongings as we were running away for our lives, and here we do not know what to do. There are no jobs here. Sometimes, my husband works as daily laborer here in the village, but his earnings are too little to support our family. The support we receive is not enough.” Mariem added.
Here in the camps, Mariem feel safer and out of harm. However, they still suffer from food shortage. “We do not have enough food for our children. These days, the other biggest concern is the new Coronavirus disease. I worry that if the disease spreads in our camp or community and government orders restriction of movement, we will be the one who suffers most from serious shortage of food and other necessities.” Said Mariem.
Due to the poor and the crowded living condition, here in the camps and their low economic status, Mariem fear that the virus could easily spread in their community. “We would like the government to look at our situation and provide us with the necessary support.” Mariam noted.
Mariam’s message to the government and other supporters is to come and see their situation, and help them. “We want a health clinic so we have one nearby. That being said, we are very grateful that we were given with a pair of plastic sheet and a rope that we use to build our house. On behalf the community here, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Save the Children for the so far support they provided us.” Said Mariam.
“I wish things improve and my children could live in peace and grow healthy.” Mariam added.
In the Sitti zone of Somali Region, Save the Children, through the Start Fund and as part of its emergency humanitarian response has distributed pair of plastic sheeting and rope to Mariem’s family and a total of 2,613 Internally Displaced People in the Erer district of the Somali Regional State, Ethiopia. This support has enabled the displaced people to build their temporary shelter that protect them from the scorching sun and the seasonal rainfall.