In September 2019, Mariam Farah Hussein, her husband and seven children fled Mogadishu for Bosaso, on Somalia's northern coastline. The family left their home during shelling on their neighbourhood that subsequently hit and destroyed their home completely.

“I lived in constant fear. There were a lot of explosions every day. People were killed every day, murdered – anything could happen. Because of this fear we decided to flee.”

“We have seen a lot of problems. When I left my home, it was hit by bombs. I suffered when I was travelling. After I arrived here, I forgot all my problems and fears. I feel safe.” 

Photo: Ingrid Prestetun/NRC
Somalia

Flyktet fra en av verdens farligste byer

Mariam og familien rakk å komme seg ut før huset deres i Mogadishu ble truffet av bombekastere. Etter angrepet flyktet de til Bosaso, hvor de føler seg trygge for første gang på mange år.

Vi møtte Mariam Farah Hussien (40) og familien hennes to uker etter at de hadde kommet i sikkerhet i Bosaso, nord i Somalia i september 2019. Hun fortalte at området de bodde i ble beskutt med bombekastere. De rakk å komme seg ut av huset før det ble truffet av granater som la huset i ruiner.

Familien la ut på en lang og strabasiøs flukt nordover i landet. Familien hadde venner som tidligere hadde flyktet til Bosaso, og de overtalte dem til å gjøre det samme. Vennene lot dem også få bo i et rom i det provisoriske huset deres i flyktningleiren.

Air photo of Mogadishu. Photo: Ingrid Prestetun/NRC
Les billedteksten Mogadishu sett fra luften. Foto: Ingrid Prestetun/Flyktninghjelpen

Mogadishu har vært herjet av krig og konflikt i nesten 30 år. Den væpnede gruppen Al Shabaab gjennomfører hyppige angrep på sivilbefolkningen i byen og ingen kan føle seg trygge. Da vi besøkte Mogadishu høsten 2019 kom det daglige meldinger om angrep i hovedstaden. I desember ble minst 78 mennesker drept og minst 125 såret i en av de mest blodige angrepene på flere år.

Nesten 700.000 ble drevet på flukt i 2019

I 2019 flyktet 188.000 på grunn av vold og konflikt i Somalia ifølge ferske tall fra Flyktninghjelpens Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre. Ytterligere 479.000 flyktet på grunn av tørke og flom. Totalt lever mer enn 2,6 millioner somaliere på flukt i eget land. Somalia er dermed et av landene med flest internt fordrevne i verden.

Puntland and other regions in Somalia's north have a very harsh climate. Recurrent drought has depleted the livestock and other resources of many families and caused crop production in many parts of the country to drop to their lowest since 1995. The Famine Early Warning System Network, a USAID-funded mechanisms monitoring food insecurity in 28 countries, projects that 2.1 million people in Somalia will be facing crisis levels of food insecurity by the end of the year. Somali people displaced by drought report that the rivers they would depend on for water have not received sufficient rain through 2019 so far, leaving them without water for their families and livestock. While NRC and other humanitarian organisations improve access to water through boreholes, needs across the country are enormous and funding too limited to meet them. With more humanitarian funding for Somalia, water points could be delivered in closer proximity to the communities that need them, preventing the loss of livestock and ongoing waves of displacement.  

Photo: Ingrid Prestetun/NRC
Les billedteksten Flere år med tørke har gjort det karrige landskapet enda tørrere. Foto: Ingrid Prestetun/Flyktninghjelpen

Det store antallet internt fordrevne har ført til enorme humanitære behov. I leiren Mariam og familien har søkt tilflukt kommer det også et stort antall mennesker som flykter inn til byene på grunn av langvarig tørke. Den humanitære hjelpen strekker ofte ikke til, og det er mange som kjemper om de få jobbene som er tilgjengelige.

Kjemper for at barna skal kunne gå på skole

Mariam har fått noen sporadiske vaskejobber og samler søppel som hun selger. Mannen hennes, Abdikadir, har ikke fått tak i noen jobb. Uten inntekt får barna deres heller ikke mulighet til å gå på skole. Mariam tok med barna til skolen, men de ble sendt hjem igjen fordi de ikke hadde skoleuniform.

Mariam Farah Hussein, 40, fled from Mogadishu to Bosaso with her husband and seven children a week ago because of violence. They left when their neighbourhood was hit by shelling and managed to escape shortly before their own house was hit and destroyed completely.

The family had friends that had already fled to Bosaso and recommended they do the same. The journey was hard, especially for the children. They travelled for two weeks. In Bosaso they were lucky to be able to share borrow shelter in the camp from their friends. Mariam wants her children to go to school, but has been unable to enrol them as they don't have uniforms. She intends to do everything she can to afford to ensure her children can access education. 

Mariam is currently earning some money working as a cleaner, but it is difficult to get enough work. Her husband has not been able to find a job.

“I lived in constant fear. There were a lot of explosions every day. People were killed every day, murdered – anything could happen. But no-one from my family was killed. Because of this fear we decided to flee.”

“I don’t have school uniforms for my children. If we get support, I want to send my children to school. If we don’t get support, I will pay for them one by one when I have the money.

“When I was there [Mogadishu], I was very afraid. But now I feel safe. Being here is better than there.

“We have seen a lot of problems. When I left my home, it was hit by bombs. I suffered when I was travelling. After I arrived here, I forgot all my problems and fears. I feel safe.”

Children:
Fartuun Abdikadir Mohamed – 15 (green)
Muna Abdikadir Mohamed – 14 (blue/green)
Jijo Abdikadir Mohamed – 13 (brown)
Run Abdikadir Mohamed – 10 (red)
Hassan Abdikadir Mohamed – 9
Zam Zam Abdikadir Mohamed – 3

Photo: Ingrid Prestetun/NRC
Les billedteksten Mariam og de syv barna hennes i deres nye hjem i Bosaso. Foto: Ingrid Prestetun/Flyktninghjelpen

– Jeg vil at barna mine skal gå på skole, men ennå har jeg ikke klart skaffe skoleuniform. Jeg håper vi får hjelp så de kan gå på skolen. Hvis ikke vi får hjelp skal jeg spare så mye jeg kan så de kan begynne på skolen, en etter en. Men det vil ta lang tid før jeg har råd til at alle kan begynne, sier hun.

Føler seg endelig trygg

Selv om Mariam, mannen og de sju barna opplever store utfordringer etter at de flyktet, er hun ikke i tvil om at det var et riktig valg å komme seg bort fra Mogadishu.

– Når barna dro på skolen var jeg redd for at de skulle bli skadet i bombeangrep, når mannen min dro på jobb var jeg bekymret for ham og når jeg selv dro på markedet var jeg redd for å bli angrepet, sier Mariam.

Mariam Farah Hussein, 40, fled from Mogadishu to Bosaso with her husband and seven children a week ago because of violence. They left when their neighbourhood was hit by shelling and managed to escape shortly before their own house was hit and destroyed completely.

The family had friends that had already fled to Bosaso and recommended they do the same. The journey was hard, especially for the children. They travelled for two weeks. In Bosaso they were lucky to be able to share borrow shelter in the camp from their friends. Mariam wants her children to go to school, but has been unable to enrol them as they don't have uniforms. She intends to do everything she can to afford to ensure her children can access education. 

Mariam is currently earning some money working as a cleaner, but it is difficult to get enough work. Her husband has not been able to find a job.

“I lived in constant fear. There were a lot of explosions every day. People were killed every day, murdered – anything could happen. But no-one from my family was killed. Because of this fear we decided to flee.”

“I don’t have school uniforms for my children. If we get support, I want to send my children to school. If we don’t get support, I will pay for them one by one when I have the money.

“When I was there [Mogadishu], I was very afraid. But now I feel safe. Being here is better than there.

“We have seen a lot of problems. When I left my home, it was hit by bombs. I suffered when I was travelling. After I arrived here, I forgot all my problems and fears. I feel safe.”

Children:
Fartuun Abdikadir Mohamed – 15 (green)
Muna Abdikadir Mohamed – 14 (blue/green)
Jijo Abdikadir Mohamed – 13 (brown)
Run Abdikadir Mohamed – 10 (red)
Hassan Abdikadir Mohamed – 9
Zam Zam Abdikadir Mohamed – 3

Photo: Ingrid Prestetun/NRC
Les billedteksten Foto: Ingrid Prestetun/Flyktninghjelpen

Etter at hun kom til Bosaso merker hun for første gang på mange år at frykten har sluppet taket.

– Nå kan jeg endelig følge meg trygg. I Mogadishu levde jeg med konstant frykt. Det var bombeangrep hver dag. Hver dag ble mennesker drept. Vi flyktet fordi vi var redde, sier Mariam.

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