Our team met Khadra while she was sitting in a self-made and visibly poorly constructed tent, carrying her one-year-baby. There was no hiding her vulnerability and weakness as she clutched onto her small child and attempted to shelter him from the unforgiving heat with her scarf. They had very little concealment to tackle the harsh elements of their surroundings, and as their bodies faded, it was apparent that their hope was fading too.
A year ago, Khadra’s husband had passed away from pneumonia leaving her alone to take care of her new infant. Since then, she has walked 30 km on foot to the food and water distribution camp in Quljeed. Khadra and her child’s livelihood depend on animals. However, any livestock that she had possessed fell fatal victim to the drought. She no longer has any cattle, personal belongings, or anything of any worth. This was evident from the extremely sparse nature of the tent she has come to call home.
“If I were to bring something with me I would feel heavy,” Khadra told our team. “So do I walk all that way in the hot sun carrying my baby, or the items? I have nothing to lay on the ground or sheets to cover us. My baby and I just lay on the bare ground. Please help us. I cannot do this alone.”
When faced with the question of what her future holds for her, Khadra had cried, “I have nothing to go back to anywhere. Ahmed is my only concern, more so because he has influenza from being exposed to the elements. I breastfeed him, but because we are both malnourished, it is not enough.
Apart from Ahmed, I have nobody. I only know the woman next door because she comes from the same clan as me, but she has her own children and commitment. How can she help me?”