Quartz Africa reports that the Coronavirus-induced cancellation of the Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca will lead to large losses to Somali goat and sheep traders.
Millions of livestock from Somalia have been shipped to Saudi Arabia for the annual Muslim pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca over many decades to feed some two million pilgrims from around the world. Livestock export during Hajj season is a lucrative business and is estimated to earn Somali livestock traders up to half a billion dollars a year.
But this year, Somalia’s goats and sheep will not join the pilgrimage because Hajj has effectively been cancelled by Saudi authorities due to the Covid-19 pandemic—only a limited number of locals are allowed to attend Hajj. It leaves the Somali livestock industry at a crossroads and will likely lead to tens of thousands losing their livelihoods.
It’s not just us who are suffering. The terrible effects of this pandemic run deep, globally, and locally.