LIVESTOCK FOR LIVELIHOODS: Increasing Household Income for Pastoralists in Gedo Somalia

Sahara Adan having her goat treated in Deka village Gedo

Deka Village, Elwak district in Gedo Somalia has been the home of 38-year-old Sahara Adan Dhicis for the past 8 years. A widow and the sole breadwinner for her 8 children, Sahara relies on her small herd as the only source of income for her household. For residents of Deka village, wealth has always been measured by the size of one’s herd, their livestock is a crucial source of food (milk) and a mobile bank that can be converted into cash for health expenses, school fees, etc.

A herd of goats in Deka village

For years drought and animal ailments have been the worst mishaps that could manifest to this community. “It was so distressing, watching as our animals die and there was nothing we could do about the diseases. We could barely get any milk for the children,“ Sahara reflects. Diseases not only claimed the lives of animals but also undermined their productivity, resulting in less milk and meat and also lowering their market prices.

“When our livestock got sick we would give them medicine by guessing the diseases they were suffering from and most times it would worsen the condition because we would give them wrong treatment or misuse the drug quantity, “Says Sahara

Lack of animal health services in the region has crippled the efforts of increasing productivity of pastoralists livestock and more so for the vulnerable households such as IDPs. To intervene in this dire situation,  NAPAD together with the German Federal Foreign Office (GFFO) and Medico International has trained and equipped 15 Community Health Workers with skills to diagnose and treat livestock diseases. The project seeks to reduce livestock morbidity, thereby improving productivity for household consumption and household income. This intervention has seen 450 households being provided with veterinary care of 28,000 animals.

Animal treatment activity with trained Community Health Workers

My children now drink more milk.

Sahara adan

“My animals were treated during the free treatment drive in our village. The animals were given treatment for worms, pneumonia, and parasites. Our animals are now healthy and thriving despite it being the rainy season when diseases are quite rampant. My children now drink more milk,” says a beaming Sahara. “I thank NAPAD for the support they have given our community”.

TDH- Supported Flood Emergency Intervention in Somalia and Kenya aid 1,200 People

For 51 year old Hawa Kusow, when it rains, it pours. Floods caused by heavy rains swept all her household belongings, destroyed her structures such as the kitchen and submerged her toilet. With nowhere to turn to and no food to feed her household of 10, the resident of Sala village in Northern Mandera, became one of the hundreds of thousands of people left displaced in the aftermath of floods following the heavy October and November 2019 downpour in Kenya and Somalia which resulted to crop and livestock destruction and human displacements.

Hawa Kusow, 51, all her household belongings were submerged by floods

In Somalia, approximately 370,000 people were displaced while 17,000 people were displaced in Kenya. An assessment conducted by NAPAD from October 9-22 2019 showed that approximately 3,500 households (21,000 persons) were affected in Gedo region and Mandera County, all NAPAD areas of operation. 

In response to the flood crisis, NAPAD with financial support from Terre des Hommes Germany implemented an emergency intervention that supported 200 flood-affected households in Baardhere District, Gedo region, Jubaland  Somalia and Sala, Mandera, Kenya. Through the 2-month intervention beginning November 2019, a total of 1,200 food-insecure individuals were able to have immediate access to life-saving food and dignified living conditions.

Beneficiaries from 100 households receive dry food stuff in Bardheere District, Somalia

“I received rice, wheat flour and cooking oil for 2 months and I am thankful for the timely intervention by the organization and its donor. However, the floods destroyed structures such as  my toilet and kitchen and we would be grateful if we could be given more assistance through the extension of this intervention,“ said Hawa Kusow.

NAPAD staff registers a beneficiary prior to the food distribution

In Baardheere district where floods destroyed close to 250 shelters, 100 households received food vouchers worth 57 Euros per month for two months and emergency non-food items (NFIs) including mosquito nets, water treatment products, hygiene kits and blankets, enabling them to live under dignified conditions in their new settlements and reduce risks of AWD/cholera outbreaks and incidence of other vector borne diseases.

Flood-affected community receive emergency food aid

While the damage in Mandera was county-wide, havoc in areas such as Sala were adverse. Massive deaths of livestock rendered pastoralists households vulnerable to food insecurity and loss of livelihoods. About 50% of the farms were covered with floods in Sala, rendering them food insecure. In Sala, the intervention also provided food vouchers of 57 Euros per month for two months ensuring food security for vulnerable people such as malnourished children, pregnant and lactating women, the disabled and the elderly.

Since 2013, TDH, has partnered with NAPAD in providing Humanitarian and Development Aid in the areas of Livelihoods and Resilience, Advocacy, Child Protyection, Water Sanitation and Hygiene in Mandera, Kenya and Gedo Region.  At the end of the intervention in January 2020, flood-affected communities are resuming restoration of their livelihoods in agricultural, livestock and trade.

Farmers In Mandera Explore Agroforestry For Climate Change Adaptation

Aresa village is located in the arid northern region of Kenya’s Mandera County. According to the 2018 Taskforce Report on Forest Resources Management and Logging Activities in Kenya, Mandera County has a forest cover of 3.04% which is below Kenya’s estimated of 7.4%. It is also has less than the Kenya’s national constitutional requirement of a minimum forest cover of 10%.

Despite the droughty climate, a riverine community near River Dawa, the major water source in the County have taken up farming. Majority of the community are pastoralists but due to changes and unpredictable weather patterns, they have opted for farming as alternative source of livelihood.

As a means to help farmers adapt to the erratic nature of weather patterns and unfavourable farming conditions, NAPAD in partnership with terre des hommes (tdh) and BMZ is implementing a 2-year program aimed at building resilience at community level through strengthening livelihoods and promoting alternative income sources.

Through the project, 50 farmers have explored small-scale agroforestry as a means to adapt to climate change. By training and establishing of tree and fruit nurseries, the farmers have been offered an alternative livelihood source as well as promote tree forest cover.  

“Before the training, trees were trees for us regardless of their importance. Now that we are trained, we are able to differentiate the types of trees, their purposes and benefits”

Maalim Ibrahim Nageeye
Tree distribution to farmers in Aresa, Mandera. Planting trees with crops is an adaptation strategy to combat climate change

“Before the training, trees were trees for us regardless of their importance. Now that we are trained, we are able to differentiate the types of trees, their purposes and benefits. We were taught tree planting, how to handle the tree seedlings during early stages, how to water and when to water. Now we are able to identify, its purpose and usefulness,” says Maalim Ibrahim Nageeye, a resident of Aresa village and one of the beneficiaries trained on Tree Nursery Establishment, Management and Agroforestry.

The trees and fruits are planted along the river bank and within the demonstration farms have greatly minimized soil erosion. Currently, the Aresa tree nursery has a total of over 1,500 tree seedlings and is run by a nursery management committee comprising of 7 members elected by the beneficiaries themselves.

Cash For Work: Communities At The Frontline In Addressing Climate Change

In quiet rural villages of Abudwak district Somalia, pastoral communities herd their animals which they rely on as their major source of livelihoods. Due to climate change there has been an increase in the frequency of droughts and the pastoral communities become the hardest hit.  Most village settlements are occupied by people of the same clans and each village has a duty to protect the water sources which is the most source of conflict in pastoral communities.

The communities devised climate change coping mechanisms by digging canals and constructing water holding berkets with capacities of up to 360,000 litres. The water berkets are communally owned and this ensures the livestock have access to water throughout the year even during the dry season.

A berkert covered with tree branches as a means covering the water which is not appropriate since the water can easily be contaminated

However, accumulation of silt in the canals caused blockage and hinder water flow to the holding berkets during the rainy seasons especially in the months of May and October. In addition, most berkets are not roofed or fenced posing as a danger to humans and livestock.

In Galmaygag, the rocky and hilly village of 350 households has 50 berkets. There has been cases of 5 deaths in the past one year as a result of people sliding and falling into the berkets while drawing water from the berket and a number of animals have also fallen victim and suffered the same fate of death. Due to lack of roofing the berkets losses a lot of water through evaporation, the water is contaminated and hence posing a healthy risk to the villagers.

An uncovered berket . This is a health hazard since the water can easily be contaminated and animals can easily fall in or humans can fall in when drawing water

Nomadic Assistance for Peace and Development (NAPAD) through the Assistance from Somalia Humanitarian Fund (SHF), conducted a cash for work program in Galmaygag and Liba-sexeey whereby 60 households were engaged in de-silting and excavating water canals.

In Liba-seexey village located in a flat area, there is a population of about 400 households. The village has 14 berkets. Three canals with a total length of 7000 metres were excavated.

In each village 30 households were selected where they were engaged for 22 days and in each day they were compensated with 4 dollars. At the end of the activity each family received a total of 88 dollars. This money was dispersed in two instalments where they were paid the first 10 days and the other one after 12 days.

The berkets rehabilitated through de-silting and canal excavation are now full of water. Besides empowering the communities to own their solutions, the initiative by NAPAD and SHF enhanced their economic standing as the payments given at a time when drought was at its peak enabled the households to buy food stuffs and medicines for their families.