FAO Regional Office for Africa

FAO and partners carry out slaughter destocking in Kismayo to increase drought-affected communities immediate access to food and income

300 households in Buulagud and Luglow, received cash in exchange for 300 male animals in an intervention to help protect the livelihoods of rural families who are severely affected by the ongoing drought.


2 August 2022, Kismayo – The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Somalia in partnership with Southwest Livestock Professionals Association (SOWELPA), carried out slaughter destocking activity in Kismayo district to mark this year’s Eid-al-Adha celebration. The activity is part of the “Emergency Support to Severely Drought Affected Rural Populations” project funded by the United Kingdom Government that aims to increase access to food, water and basic necessities and protect the livelihoods of severely drought-affected communities in south and central Somalia.

“Pastoralists communities have been negatively affected by poor rains experienced during the last four consecutive rain seasons. Drought conditions have worsened, and the situation is critical in most parts of Somalia. Pastoralists are selling their livestock including breeding stocks at low prices to buy water and food, which undermines recovery from drought. All of this has had a severe impact on the health, food security, nutrition and livelihoods of these households”, said FAO Representative Etienne Peterschmitt.

As part of its drought response interventions, FAO Somalia organised a slaughter destocking project in Buulagud and Luglow, in Kismayo district. This activity aimed to increase immediate access to food, to reduce the loss of livestock due to the severe scarcity of pasture and water, and to inject cash to support livestock trade activities among pastoralists.

“This Eid celebration was different because FAO slaughtered a whole healthy goat for my family and I, in turn, I shared it with my neighbours here. FAO also gave us cash in the past and treated/vaccinated our animals on many occasions,” said Nuney Wardhere Bilow, a beneficiary who lives in New Bulagudud IDP camp on the outskirt of Bulagudug village.

Prior to the destocking activity, FAO conducted market assessments to inform livestock prices, and conducted pre-mortem examinations to assess the health of livestock. Within this project, FAO will conduct trainings (for meat and cash beneficiaries) on slaughter destocking, focusing on marketing and/or consumption of weak but otherwise healthy goats/sheep. Application of this knowledge and destocking activities are expected to contribute to the improvement of the nutritional and food security statuses of malnourished children and food insecure households, while supporting households to maintain breeding stocks at manageable levels.

“Households in Somalia are losing their livestock, a primary source of both food and income, due to the shortage of pasture and water from the prolonged drought. This is placing food and basic supplies out of reach for vulnerable drought-affected families” said British Ambassador to 

Somalia, Kate Foster. “To support those worst affected, the UK funded FAO to conduct destocking activities that provided cash in exchange for animals to protect community livelihoods. This also ensured immediate access to food, reduced loss of livestock, and a much-needed injection of cash to support livestock trade activities among pastoralists” she added.

Increasing immediate access to food for drought-affected populations

Somalia is facing its third severe drought episode in a decade. As a result of four consecutive poor rainy seasons, the country is on the verge of a humanitarian catastrophe reminiscent of 2010/11 with drought conditions similar to those seen in 2016/17.

As funding becomes available, FAO is scaling up humanitarian assistance in hard hit rural areas, with the overall objective to save lives and livelihoods. Within its Famine Prevention Plan, FAO’s focus is to ensure maximum reach to rural households in remote hard-to-reach drought hot spots, delivering assistance in a safe, timely, and dignifying manner.