Enabling Resilient Agro-pastoral Livelihoods

According to the Somalia Food Security Outlook, October 2020 to May 2021, acute food insecurity is expected to remain high in Somalia through May 2021. This situation is perpetuated by varying impacts of localized floods and below-average rainfall, a worsening desert locust infestation in central and parts of southern Somalia, and the economic contraction linked to the COVID-19 pandemic. The population facing food consumption gaps is set to increase from 2.1 million as documented in late 2020 to 2.5 by mid-2021 according to the same report.  NAPAD addresses food insecurity through humanitarian aid and by establishing long-term agricultural interventions that protect livelihoods and secure the food security of affected communities.

Along the stretch of the Jubba river sits a 24-acre piece of lush land in Korey village. Amid the scorching sun, mothers are harvesting maize, beans, and fodder for their animals. The farm hosts 50 riverine farmers from Korey village, Dolow district.  Farming is persistently affected by erratic rainfall, Perennial River flooding, high-cost of pumping irrigation water using old diesel engines, poor farming skills, poor quality farm inputs and economic vulnerabilities. 


Ali in his maize field

Standing in the middle of his maize field is 36 years old Ali Mohamud, a father of six children.  It has been 5 months since Ali and the other 49 farmers started farming this piece of land and have been an exciting journey for them.

Early 2020, Nomadic Assistance for Peace and Development in collaboration with Terre Des-Hommes (TdH) and  BMZ Germany implemented a building resilience project that aims to improve food security in vulnerable communities like in Korey Village of Dolow District, Somalia.

Korey Shallow Well

‘’ We were very excited when the NAPAD program team came to us with this project that would empower us to advance our farming. It was on condition that we show serious commitment to farming. Before only a small portion of this land was under irrigation. The land was barren and bushy. We cleared, ploughed…‘’ Recalls Ali.

Korey Water Tank

NAPAD partnered with community leaders and the administration to identify the 24 acres of land and the 50 farmers. The land is situated far away from the flooding areas.  The farmers also formed 5 farmers groups for better coordination and monitoring.

Maize farm

NAPAD dug a shallow well near the river and installed a solar-water-pumping system which now enables the farmers to pump water from the river throughout the year without fuel cost and minimal technical problems. The solar pumping system is operated by locals trained by NAPAD.

“Previously, the diesel-powered pump was very expensive to maintain but now, Alhamdulillah! We are very happy and delighted because we can farm at any time of the year and engine worries are not in our discussions.’ said the father of six.

Farmer feeding earthen canals with water

The farmers have integrated agro-forestry with trees being planted along the river basins and in the farms to help prevent soil erosion.  To increase crop production, NAPAD provided farm inputs such as crop seeds as well as training to enhance farmers’ knowledge of farming. 

Farmers receiving farm in puts

“We participated in farmer’s field days and agroforestry training organised by NAPAD. We gained knowledge we didn’t have. We were taught on advanced farming and how to increase farm production and here we are applying the knowledge,” said a proud Ali.

NAPAD agronomist conducting farmer field days

The farmers have turned the farms into flourishing paradise, growing different crop varieties such as onions, tomatoes, maize, cow peas, Sudan grass, and fruits

Onion Farms

 “We immensely thank NAPAD and the donors for their unwavering support. Without them, all this could have not been possible.’’  Ali.

Farmer also harvest fodder for their animals

Solar Energy Improves Food Security of Pastoralists in Abudwak

Dalsan, a village roughly 20km from Abudwak town, hosts 400 households who rely on a diesel-powered generator. The high cost of running the generator and regularly breakdown forced the Dalsan community to turn to unsafe water sources such as water ponds.

“Getting water was our main challenge, and when the generator broke down, which was the norm, we would buy water from the town at exorbitant prices. Those who could not afford to buy water resorted to fetching water from the dirty ponds”, reports Abdi Hassan Ali, a father of 7 children and the community leader of Dalsan Village.

Solar panels installed to power water pumping at the Dalsan Borehole.

It’s under these conditions that Nomadic Assistance for Peace and Development (NAPAD) with funding from Somali Humanitarian Fund (SHF) intervened in Dalsan village with a project whose objective was improving food security by providing a hybrid solar water pumping system that would increase water for livestock use as well as diversification into vegetable production through kitchen gardening.

Now this solar has closed that gap and made access to water easier with fewer worries about fuel costs, and whether or not the generator will break down. The solar pumps the water, and we fill the elevated tank, and it’s sufficient”, Reports Abdi Hassan Ali.


The solar-powered water pumping system has increased the output of water from the borehole by 50%. With this increase, NAPAD conducted a 3-day training for 50 women-headed households on kitchen gardening. The project then provided farm inputs in the form of various vegetable seeds and farming equipment to support them start their Kitchen-gardens.

NAPAD agronomist monitor kitchen gardens

“We are grateful for the kitchen garden, with no shortage of water I can engage in other productive activities for the betterment of family and give time to my kitchen garden”, says Zainab, a resident of Dalsan Village and a mother of 5 where she now grows Kale, spinach, capsicum, hot pepper and watermelon, and she plans to expand the garden to cater for local market demand

KITCHEN GARDENS DIVERSIFY DIETS FOR PASTORALISTS IN ABUDWAK

Abudwak, Galmudug state being arid and water scarce, there is a common perception that it is not suitable for farming.  Farming is the least thing discussed in many households in this remote part of the country. That notion is slowly fading away for many households after NAPAD introduced kitchen garden farming for pastoralist communities in Abudwak.

It’s 6.00 am; mama Fatuma is watering her small kitchen garden in her plot, a routine she has religiously observed for the last three months since she was introduced to kitchen gardening by NAPAD. Mama Fatuma’s 10M by 5M kitchen garden looks promising. Within a month of planting her seeds and seedlings, the plants have begun to bear fruits, first Capsicum, Tomatoes, kales, and watermelon. The excited mother of 8 can’t believe her progress and can’t help but admire her work.  Her farm will produce enough vegetables for her family use and sell them in the local market.

Now Abudwak comes to us

MAMA FATUMA
Mama Fatuma in a discussion with NAPAD agronomist

“We no longer travel to Abudwak town to get vegetables. I have plenty in my compound. We get it anytime we want. Now Abudwak comes to us’’, Reports the new farmer.  In addition to growing food for her family, Fatuma can sell some of the vegetables she grows. For example, she sells each capsicum at 10 cents Dollar. “This morning I sold two Kgs of tomatoes and 1kg of capsicum to a grocery in Abduwak town’’ says delighted Fatuma.

NAPAD, in partnership with Somalia Humanitarian Fund (SHF), is implementing a project that promotes diversification into kitchen gardens by the pastoralist community for a sustainable supply of nutritious fresh vegetables and fruits. Water for this farming is supplied by the village boreholes in Dalsan and Hulkujur villages in Abudwak district.

NAPAD through SHF funding has solarized water pumping in these boreholes, increasing their water output, reducing the cost of pumping the water, and employing sustainable renewable energy to pump the water.  The increased water output ensures that the community has enough water for domestic use, livestock use, and now for their kitchen gardening. “Before the kitchen garden farming, we used to have this belief that farming does well only where rivers flow. We have realized you can farm anywhere when water is available” says Mama Fatuma

Mama Fatuma assesses her capsicums

NAPAD, with the support of the community elders, identified 100 women from Dalsan and Hulkujur villages in Abudwak who were trained in kitchen farming.  The women were provided with farm inputs which include vegetable seeds and farm tools. Fatuma is among 100 beneficiaries of this project.  The approach seeks to diversify sources and quality of food and nutrients for vulnerable persons such as women and children. This is the first time Mama Fatuma and the other women were introduced into farming as this pastoralist community relies more on livestock production for food.

Mama Fatuma’s spinach grown in a gunny sack

Now that these women farmers have registered success in kitchen garden farming, many other women are willing to learn, so that they too can venture and replicate the success story in kitchen garden farming.   Mama Fatuma dreams to have a big farm that will supply the whole of Abudwak town. She appreciates NAPAD and their staff for introducing them to vegetable farming. “We say thank you to NAPAD and the donors for giving us this knowledge we didn’t have. May Allah bless you”.