Securing Livelihoods of IDP Women: Amino’s Story

Amino Abdullahi an IDP in Kismayu and beneficiary of the KWEEP project.

Amino Abdullahi Abdi, 46, is an Internally Displaced Person from Bu’ale, Middle Juba now living in the Port town of Kismayo in Southern Somalia. As a newly wedded young girl, Amino owned a small shop in Bu’ale that used to sell household essentials like tealeaves, salt, washing powder, and spices. The money she made from her little shop supplemented her husband’s income which allowed them to live a comfortable life. The conflict brought about by local militia prompted Amino and her family to leave home in search of safety.  

When we left, I only carried our clothes with us” Amino sadly recalls. “I left all my life back home in Bu’ale

Life was difficult when they settled at an IDP camp in Kismayo. The family of six could barely afford food, and her husband succumbed to a short illness. Amino did odd jobs like washing clothes to be able to support her family. Being the sole breadwinner, she started several ventures, including selling peanuts and a grocery store in the streets of Kismaayo. All her attempts to sustain her small projects were futile due to the little profits and insufficient capital.

I tried borrowing money for capital from the local village lenders, but repayment of this small loan was difficult as I often had to choose between repaying the debt and feeding my children from my earnings,” recalls Amino

It was during this period that Amino enrolled as a beneficiary of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) funded Kismayo Women Economic Empowerment Project (KWEEP). The 12-month project centered on the development of business capacities of IDPs, returnees and local community women through business skills training, value addition of business products, promotion of a saving culture by individuals and in groups, linkages for business credit from local Micro Finance Institutions (MFI) and recovery of the business stock of vulnerable women in business from Midnimo, Fanoole and Galbeed IDP camps of Kismaayo.

Through the KWEEP project, Amino joined a 10 Member Group that conducted Voluntary Saving and lending (VSL) among its members. The VSL groups encouraged savings and offered easy access to small loans to invest in the development of their small businesses. The VSL group now has opened a bank account with Amal bank. The group is also a safe space where these women can conduct group income initiatives. 

Through KWEEP business startup support, Amino has also benefitted from a fridge and a stock of groceries (Bagash) for expansion of her business. “I have now diversified my business and now sell ice-cream and ice itself which is one of the most sought-after commodities in Kismaayo. I also sell various groceries in the village and now get triple the profits I used to get. “Amino fondly reports. Amino is confident that she will be able to grow her business. “I plan to expand my business and I am not worried about funds because I know I will get a loan from my Ayuto/VSL group.” 

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”.

IMPROVED NUTRITION FOR CHILDREN OF IDPS IN SOUTH CENTRAL SOMALIA

The humanitarian situation in Somalia continues to be characterized by high levels of food insecurity, malnutrition, especially among women, children, persons living with disabilities, and the elderly. More so among 2.6 internally displaced persons and their vulnerable host communities in peri-urban and urban areas of the country. NAPAD humanitarian organization in partnership with Medico international(MI) through the funding of Germany Federal Foreign office (GFFO) is implementing a project that protects the livelihoods of vulnerable communities and promotes diversification to poultry rearing for improved nutrition of women of childbearing age and their children in South Central Somalia. This is with the aim of fulfilling Zero Hunger Global Commitment

Masbal Mohamed Cigal aged 30 years is a single mother with 6 children living in Baligesh IDP camp in Abudwak district. She is among the people affected and displaced by the subsequent droughts and clan conflicts in the region and lost the little herd she had. Masbal normally earns a few coins daily by doing menial works such as cleaning clothes and cooking food in other people’s houses. Masbal is one of the 450 households in Abudwak and Dollow Districts who received four hens and a roster each to kickstart poultry rearing in their homesteads. The beneficiaries were also trained for 3 days on poultry rearing and treatment and nutritional benefits of consumption of poultry products for children, women, and other vulnerable members in their households.

“Before attending the poultry rearing training I knew nothing about chicken I used to think it just ordinary birds that don’t have any benefit to human beings. However, at the end of the training, I realized that poultry is very important in improving the nutrition status of malnourished children and pregnant women” said Masbal.

Masbal’s chicken brood has increased and she is now taking care of newly hatched chicks. Her chicken is also laying an average of 15 eggs per week. Some are prepared for household consumption through boiling, frying, or boiling of mixing with flour when preparing canjeera (a common Somali breakfast dish). The surplus earns her extra income.

“I normally sell the excess eggs to my neighbors and sometimes at the market, selling at 0.25 dollar per egg, generating me come income to buy other food commodities for the family.”

masbal

AN OASIS OF HOPE IN HAMARE

Mr. Billow Adow in his farm.
Mr. Billow Adow in his farm.

Billow Adow, a small-scale farmer from Hamare practices farming on a quarter an acre piece of land. This has enabled him to not only cater for his children’s education but also take care of his nuclear family. However, due to the unpredictability of the Gu’rains that farmers are heavily reliant on, returns from his piece of land have not been forthcoming. The dwindling profits from his farming and the inability to now take care of his family and his children’s education have Billow reliant on cash transfers from well-wishers and humanitarian organizations.

Farming was no longer a reliable source of income, and I was struggling to pay school fees and feed my family.”

Billow adow

“I have been a farmer all my life, like my father before me. But much has changed since I was as a child. The rains that once were regular have become unpredictable, and severe droughts are becoming more frequent. Farming was no longer a reliable source of income, and I was struggling to pay school fees and feed my family. I used to plant maize once a year. If there was rain, the harvest was good. If there wasn’t, the harvest was poor. But with the changes in climate, I could hardly grow enough maize to meet my family’s needs.” Recalls Billow

In order to help farmers in Hamare increase their resilience to climate change and improve their income, NAPAD in partnership with Terre des homes (TDH) started a solar irrigation project that targeted 300 farmers. These direct and indirect target groups were among the hardest hit by the previous severe drought that ravaged most parts of the country. The project also involved construction of shallow wells close to the river and elevated water tanks that can hold a maximum of 60000 liters. Water is pumped from the wells to the elevated tanks using solar energy via PVC pipes then to the farms. These has enabled areas further from the river to also benefit from the project.

Mr.Billow’s onion yield

This is a very extraordinary yield, something that I have never experienced before. With the money, I am now able to provide for my family’s’ basic need

billow adow

Mr. Billow has since diversified his farming, he now practices mixed farming. Last season, Billow harvested 50 bags of onions which he sold for Birr 600 per bag translating to a total of 30000 Birr (USD 780). “This is a very extraordinary yield, something that I have never experienced before. With the money, I am now able to provide for my family’s’ basic needs while also putting aside some money as savings for my children’s education. I also bought goats; I have 12 goats now,” he says proudly. He is now able to smile instead of frowning upon the skies for their unpredictability.

Farmers are able not only to diversify the crops they grow but also increase the number of planting seasons. This has built the communities resilience to the shock brought about by adverse climate change. There is now a glimmer of hope in restoring the community’s confidence in agriculture as a stable source of livelihood and as a promoter of self-reliance. This is thanks to the solar irrigation system that also allows them to have a steady supply of food and income for their families. The system indeed has been akin to an oasis of hope that the farmers can always count on to cushion them from drought and poverty

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.