Water is precious everywhere, but there are few places on Earth where water is as precious as in Somalia right now.

Pastoralist families across Somalia are uprooting their lives and moving in search of water that their animals – goats, sheep and camels – can drink before dying of thirst. Somali families that grow crops using irrigation now stare at dry rivers and empty farmlands.

Camels drinking from one of the temporary Onion tanks installed in Matabaan

To assist families in need, the ICRC is providing temporary animal troughs and onion tanks – flexible, open-top storage tanks — to increase the capacity of communities to store water.

The tanks can hold 5,000 litres of water pumped from a borehole. This ensures that there is enough water for animals to drink. In Matabaan town, five such tanks have already been installed.

The ICRC assisted the community on the outskirts of Garowe by building subsurface dams to avoid losing underground water from the river beds. These dams have been in place for seven years and still contain water to this day.

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Water sprouting into an onion tank installed by the ICRC in Matabaan, Hiran region.