Water scarcity in Tuula Qalooc village
Maimuna Mohammed is a mother of six living in Tuula Qalooc village, Gedo region, Somalia. For most of her life, she has had to walk for 4 km every day to the river Jubba to fetch water for her household. The journey was made under the hot sun and carried the added danger of man-eating crocodiles at the riverbank. The contaminated water also put her family at risk of contracting water-borne diseases such as cholera and diarrhoea. However, Maimuna had no choice as she had to bring water back home for her family. This is a common experience for many women and girls who fetch water along the River Juba.
“Every morning, I would wake up knowing I had to fetch water and would spend around four hours to and from the river,” recalls Maimuna. “Even then, the water I fetched was never enough to meet all our needs,”
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The primary water source in Tuula Qaaloc village has been a communally owned shallow well that was destroyed by floods and had seized to be functional. This left residents with few options for finding water, which was made even harder due to drought conditions, high water costs from private water vendors, and the risks of insecurity and gender-based violence affecting women and girls who had to walk long distances in search of precious resources.
Accessing clean water in Tuula Qaaloc Village
To address the water crisis in the village, Nomadic Assistance for Peace and Development (NAPAD) in partnership with Norwegian Church Aid (NCA) through a WASH project established a water supply infrastructure that is now supplying clean and affordable water to the community.
The water supply infrastructure development includes the rehabilitation of the dilapidated Tuula Qalooc shallow well. The rehabilitation work engaged residents in the rehabilitation process through cash-for-work programming. Cash-for-work offers short-term employment to unskilled and semi-skilled community members in activities that develop community productive assets such as water supply structures Cash for Work engagements allow able-bodied vulnerable men and women to earn some income that enables them to meet their basic needs amid the socio-economic impact of a crisis.
The project also involved the construction of a 20,000L elevated concrete water storage tank and a water kiosk fitted with 8 taps allowing eight people to collect water at any given time. This reduces human queues at the water collection point, loss of valuable time, and conflict over water collection. Finally, the project installed a 2 Km water supply pipe network and a solar-powered water pumping system.
It has been a few months since the water supply infrastructure in Tuula Qalooc Village was completed, and now more than 150 households have access to clean and affordable water. This has allowed family members, particularly mothers who previously had to walk long distances to fetch contaminated water from the Jubba River to have more time to engage in other activities that support their families.
“The water kiosk is conveniently located in the village, near all households, enabling them to get clean water at any time of day.” Says Maimuna, “She happily adds that this has made a big difference in her daily routine.”
To ensure the sustainability of the project investments, NAPAD trained residents to be part of a water management committee and as solar operators. The team is responsible for the management of the water supply infrastructure and the operation and maintenance of the solar-powered water pumping system installed beyond the project period.
Mr Dahir, the village chief, has also expressed his gratitude for the installed infrastructure which has relieved mothers of the burden of walking long distances for water.