I now turn into an issue which has nothing to do with the occasion for which we are gathered here, but which cannot be left out. We may ask ourselves; What are the conditions created by the drought? I would say these are very hard times for the drought striken area of the country. 136,700 people are in relief camps now and others are seeking relief at the rate of 4,000-6,000 a day. This is a serious situation, and it seems that the areas the drought had affected are so far apart and extensive that we might not be able to handle its effect unless we get assistance from a great many really true friends. You can all imagine the staggering expenses the country would have to incur in feeding, clothing, sheltering and giving medicine and water factilities to 136-700 people and the others who are daily coming into the relief camps.
To take care of all these people in everyway would really be a great task. If 136,700 people were in relief camps last night, you can be sure another 5,000 to 6 had come in since then. When you add this rate of increment odd destitutes over five months, and when you know there is no rain expected for at least seven more months, the number of people who would be destitutes by then staggers the imagination, and the aftermath of the drought would be clossal.
According to our tentative, rough estimates at least 700,000 people would be destitutes. This would also mean that a great part of Somalia's livestock population would be wiped out. In addition to this, the resources we have earmarked for development would have to be met with this emergency. Under these circumstances what is the extent of outside assistance? It is true that some friendly countries have volunterred, to give us assistance for this great emergency, but after how many months will their assistance reach us? It will reach us after we have been spending ten million shillings a day on relief; it will reach us after we have been taking care of our people on our own for one month and a half. The people in relief camps are too many, and the world has given us humanitarian assistances, or would assist us, for at times of calamity, human beings have to help each other. Some countries have given us a mere taken assistance. They must have told themselves "Let us just make our presence get noted without giving them any substantial things". The reason I am explaining these things to you is that, you have to realize that the greater part of the burden of this emergency is going to be on us and we should be ready to take care of our people.
The Somali people have to realize the magnitude of the great responsibilities that circumstances have thrust upon them. What is at stake today is the saving of hundreds of thousands of lives. It is the duty of every Somali, whether he is inside or outside the country, to contribute towards the aleviation of this misery which nature has beset upon his brothers and sisters. Paying deaf ears to this call is tantamount to betraying one's brothers, country and nation at a time of great dancer. I could think of nothing worst than committing such a sin. Every Somali must know, and know it now, that nothing at the disposal of the Somali Government and people would be spared we must be prepared even to divert the salary funds to this emergency, it comes to that in order to save the lives of the drought victims. It is indispensable that every Somali with the tiniest particle of patriotism or humanity should volunteer to help out his brothers and sisters with his brain, energy and resources, and he should give it willingly and with good heart. All of us could do nothing short of that.
Looking after the interest of the Somali people is the constant objective of the Government. To give you an example,the Government had paid 140,000,000 shillings in food subsidies to cover the increase in food prices in world markets. This was done to make possible for the Somali people to buy food at prices much lower than the real value. The purpose of paying food subsidies is to keep food prices down so that the workers, the public and the people can afford to buy at prices they can easilly pay.
Every District had been given the responsibility of distributing food to the people in the relief Camps there. The authorities in each of the drought—striken areas in the country should appoint special people for the management and distribution of food. The people given this task would have to see it that each person in the relief camps should get his daily food allocation. Each person or family, should have identity papers, to make sure that each person, or each family is given the exact quantity of food allocations. It shouldn't happen that some get extra food, through oversight or mistake, and some get less than what they are entitled. There should be a strict fair system of distribution.
The mettle of the Somali nation has been exposed to great test today. They must prove the stuff they are made of for these are times of great trial. The Somali people must be equal to this trial, and must stop anyone, whether he is a treacherous Somali or foreinger, who would want to detract them from their great responsibility.
Long live Somalia
1st of July, 1970
July 1st is the day when the Somali people emerged from the darkness of foreign rule and ushered in a new era of hopes and expectations, and took over the reins of their country in dignity and pride. The problems inherited from the colonial period were numerous. There was no sound economic and social plan to develop the country. There was acute unemployment. Political problems were rife, and the Somali nation was in a state disintegration.
The Governments which ran the affairs of our country from 1st July 1960 to 21st October 1969 have dismally failed in building a viable nation based on firm social and economic foundations. Corruption, tribalism, nepotism, injustice and embezzlement of funds became the order of the day and the existence of the Somali nation was threatened, Revenue collected in the form of taxes from the Somali people, many of whom lived on a hand to mouth basis, was used for personal interests. The financial and technical assistance poured into our country by friendly states was criminally robbed from our people.
The Supreme Revolutionary Council makes no dishonest promises in seeking a mandate from you. We shall formulate a feasible programme in which every Somali, men and women, young and old, can participate in the task of nation building so as to translate our aspirations into reality. The economic and social problems we inherited from the colonial powers and the former regimes are colossal. We must take up the challenge and by hard work help the government's efforts to succeed. This will only be possible through the cooperation and participation of the people. Let us pool our resources and energies for the progress and ever-lasting prosperity of our country.
The most pressing issue facing the Revolution is the economic problem. We fully realise that we will be judged by our economic policies, and the gains and failures we record in this field. Economic is the Central issue. On it, depends the success of the social, political and other activities of the nation. It is a simple question of bread and butter, and economic development is a matter no government can disregard.
Every one of you recognises the gravity of our economic situation today. As one of the less developed countries wea common Third World problem of neglect, discrimination and lack of interest from the so called rich nation's club of the world. We also have our special problems which could have been ameliorated by a government which was a least aware and sensitive to the needs and aspirations of the people. The sad ignominious record of the defunct regime shows as a mark on our people and on our country. There is rampant poverty, hunger, mass unemployment, chronic government deficits, etc. The list of our economic ills is too familiar for me to repeat. The defunct regime's attitude to development questions and their total neglect of the people's interests is a sad chapter in the history of our country faces.
17th of February, 1979
On this auspicious holy Eid-ul-Adha, solemnly and fittingly celebrated throughout the territory of the Somalia Democratic Republic, I desire to extend to all my best wishes for happiness, prosperity and wellbeing.
On this occasion, our thoughts also embrace Islam's Holy Places, where at this time hundreds of thousands of faithful people are gathered to fulfil their pilgrimage, according to the dictate of our religion.
In this spirit, I exhort all of to mediate upon the high moral teaching of the Islamic faith the path towards mutual understanding, cooperation and peace.
We are still on the threshold of a era, initiated by the 21st October Revolution. It is a time deep-laid with difficulties. We do not wish to conceal that the problems that confront us are manifold and of diverse nature, and that they impose upon all of us, indiscriminately, personal sacrifices and a firm dedication to guarantee to the country security and justice in progress.
Muslim leaders, besides being propounders and propagators of the Islamic faith, were also statesmen who contributed to the political, economic and social development of the countries they governed. They were teachers of nations and peoples who are on the frontline politically, socially and technologically.
Hence the need for our religious to probe within the social reality of our people, and wrest from our religion it's practical teachings, thus making available its ideas and actions in the interest of general progress.
Among our people, religious leaders must play gallivanting role to activate a society advancing towards the high value of Islam, which have always been the foundation of our social and political organisation,
The Somali Democratic Republic will spare no efforts to follow the path to prosperity, through the efficient efforts of its citizens. This path is clearly laid out by Islam, and the active work of the religious leaders in the field of education and morals, will be a source of inspiration and assistance.