Communities need to know how to protect themselves

Working as a journalist in Somalia has never been an easy task. During COVID-19, the situation has even become more difficult.

About this project

This project was produced by VOA’s Extremism Watch and Press Freedom desks. It includes a snapshot of restrictions and challenges for media covering COVID-19 worldwide and personal views of journalists who spoke with VOA.

It is very difficult for the journalists to have access to information, to the quarantine site, to the hospitals where patients of COVID-19 have been taken.

Authorities will never give or release data about the number of the patients.

I focus on the humanitarian side of every story, trying to highlight the potential need of the local people including the IDPs [internally displaced people]. We have more than 1.5 million internally displaced people.

And during this crisis of COVID-19, the need for those big communities for information about how they can protect themselves against COVID-19 has even become more important for them.

Journalists like me are trying their best to inform the public. But it seems like journalists are seen as enemies by own state, by their own government.

Correction: An earlier version of this article said 1.25 million people were internally displaced. The figure is 1.5 million. VOA regrets the error.