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

A BUZZ IN ARESA: DIVERSIFYING AGRO-PASTORALISTS INCOME THROUGH BEE FARMING IN MANDERA KENYA.

In the remote, dusty village of Aresa in Mandera County-Kenya, villagers depend on small-scale agriculture to earn a living. Climate change has resulted in unpredictable weather changes, and now families struggle to meet their basic needs. The area is highly vulnerable to drought, but at the same time, erratic rainfall has increased in the area leading to frequent floods. This has resulted in the loss of crops and damage to agricultural infrastructure leading to increased household food insecurity and spiraling poverty.

Maalim Dakane one of the beneficiaries of the project

40-year-old Maalim Dakane followed his father’s footsteps into agriculture.” I grow maize, simsim, and cowpeas, but this has become risky as farmers lose almost an entire harvest either to flooding or diseases and pests“. Says Maalim. “Because of erratic weather patterns and unreliable crop harvests, our income has become irregular and is declining.” He continues.

The increasing crop losses from floods, coupled with crop pests and diseases has led to post-harvest losses. These have become a severe threat to these riverine households. The communities are, therefore, exploring new ways of diversifying their incomes to reduce their vulnerability to these risks.

To promote income diversification and increase household income of the riverine communities, Nomadic Assistance for Peace and Development (NAPAD) with financial support from the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and Terre des Hommes (TDH) embarked on a project to contribute to the sustainable strengthening of livelihoods and resilience to droughts in the riverine community of Mandera County.

NAPAD trained 50 farmers from 5 farmer groups on beekeeping and management practices. The groups received 20 modern beehives and accessories among other farm inputs such as crop seeds, to boost crop and honey production hence fully benefiting from this highly lucrative industry. By diversifying their income sources, farmers are now improving their resilience to climate change. 

Elmi the area extension officer examining the beehives

As the weather fluctuates between excessive rains, to months of drought, managing bees for honey will be an excellent supplement to the regular on-farm activities.” Says Elmi the Extension officer of the area.

 “The additional income from beekeeping will help me survive crop losses. This project will aid our families, increase our sources of food and our incomes. The hives when colonized will without a doubt improve our lives and we look forward to our first harvest,” Maalim said while examining the wooden bee box.

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT IN THE COVID-19 CONTEXT

In recent years, climate-related shocks, mainly drought and flooding, have increased in frequency and intensity, intensifying humanitarian needs and undermining resilience at the household and community levels.

Jamac Xaashi Abdille, a 45-year-old father of seven children who lives in Barwaaqo Village in Abduwaak district Somalia slowly proceeds to the Nomadic Assistance for Peace and Development (NAPAD) beneficiary registration centre. Like many families who are struggling to recover from recurrent calamities of drought over the past couple of years, life has not been easy for him and his family. His vulnerability has been heightened by his physical impairment which limits his ability to travel far and wide to access other forms of livelihoods.

Jamac Xaashi Abdille at the NAPAD UCT registration centre

A near-constant cycle of drought and conflict has forced my family to flee a number of times, surviving on the generosity of locals and support of relatives who offered food and other assistance. We barely have enough to live on. As a Person Living with Disabilities (PWD) this makes it even harder for me to carter for my family,” he continues.

To improve the food security of vulnerable communities in Abudwak, NAPAD with funding from Somalia Humanitarian Fund (SHF) is implementing an eight-month project that will increase immediate access to food, protection of livestock assets, and diversification of livelihoods by this majorly pastoralist community.

In Barwaaqo village Abduwak district, NAPAD is conducting registration of beneficiaries for unconditional cash transfers (UCT). As opposed to previous years, the beneficiaries are moving in queues to maintain physical distancing as they eagerly wait to be served. Previously these exercises would typically be characterized by people in small crowds or seated next to each other catching up waiting to be served.

Things can not remain business as usual.

Fatuma Abdullahi
Beneficiaries waiting to be served at the registration center

“Things cannot remain business as usual, the pandemic has remodeled our operations as a humanitarian organization working in a fragile context. We have put in place measures to ensure social distancing especially in our community engagements,” Says Fatuma Abdullahi, a project Manager in NAPAD.

As Jamac waits to be served, he is optimistic that the cash transfer will provide food for his family.

Thanks to Allah, I was included in the programme as one of the people who will receive 124 USD per month for three months through Mobile money transfer. This will improve our lives. I will be able to buy food for my children.” says Jamac.

The project will see 200 IDPs in Abudwak, and 200 vulnerable host communities receive 124 USD in unconditional cash transfer for three months. The UCT will help cushion the already heavy burden of these IDP communities that has been aggravated by the COVID 19 pandemic. NAPAD partnered with the local government to ensure the beneficiary selection process was inclusive to persons with disabilities like Jamac.

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.