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

Water is now Accessible in Dayax


Solar panel installed to pump water from the shallow well to the water kiosk

Dayax Village is a village located 12 km from Dollow and 2.5 km to the river Dawa. For the Dayax village residents, accessing clean and affordable water has been a problem for generations.  Women and children have had a hard time traveling many kilometers a day in search of water. The only water source a shallow well was in a dilapidated state due to damages by floods. The residents struggled to access water due to lack of any other water sources for domestic use and their livestock. The community was left in limbo years ago after the main diesel engine used to pump water developed a technical problem and was not repaired due to financial problems.


Nima Muhamud collecting water from the water kiosk

Nima Mohamud, mother of two recalls how the water situation was dire before NAPAD’s intervention. Nima and her fellow women experienced many challenges to quench their families’ thirst daily. In groups, women used to trek roughly 5 kilometers to and from river Dawa, twice a day as a daily routine to fetch water for their families.

Early in the morning I will go to the river in the company of other women equipped with my Jerri cans, fetch water for my family. We traveled for one hour to and from the river”. Nima narrates.

The tiresome journey of fetching water was worsened by insecurity especially for the young girls as it was not safe to go collect water on their own. Wild animals such as crocodiles also posed a threat for those fetching water in the river. 


Young girls from Dayax Village comfortably collecting water from the new water kiosk

To help resolve these problems, NAPAD with funding from Norwegian Church Aid- through the ‘Drought Resilience Program’, implemented a WASH project that has now enabled residents of this village to access clean, safe, and affordable water within at least 500m from their homesteads. 

The newly constructed water kiosk

The intervention comprised of the rehabilitation of Dayax shallow well near the river Dawa which was achieved through Cash for Work, the establishment of a hybrid solar water pumping system, rehabilitation of water pipework from the shallow well to the water kiosk, and the construction of a water kiosk in village.


Rehabilitated Dayax village Shallow well

It has been three months since the Dayax village residents started enjoying clean, safe, and affordable water. The water kiosk is now strategically built about 500 meters away from the homesteads to reduce the distance walked to and from the village. The water kiosk is also fitted with 8 taps and serves eight people at once and is serving approximately 1500 residents of  Dayax village.

The whole village is a few minutes away from the kiosk, we access the water anytime and at any moment. From morning to evening and even night.  Previously, the water we fetch was never enough but now plenty…On behalf of the village, want to thank NAPAD for establishing this important project for us. We say thank you NAPAD and the donors who made this project possible’’.  appreciated Nima. 

FEEDING THE HUNGER FOR EDUCATION IN GEDO REGION SOMALIA

Belet -Hawa located along the border in Gedo Region shares a long insecure border line with Kenya and Ethiopia. Cyclic drought, armed conflict, limited services and severe food insecurity are key recurrent problems experienced in the district. Children have been the ones to bear the brunt of food insecurity as they are prone to malnourishment. As the children struggle to concentrate in class, their schooling suffers, leading to high levels of truancy.

To improve the health and learning capacity of 7,177 children enrolled in 22 schools, Nomadic Assistance for Peace and Development (NAPAD) implemented a school feeding program supported by World Food Programme (WFP). The target schools are vulnerable community schools with no access to such crucially needed support. The children are provided with two nutritious hot meals daily.

Students of Baletamin Primary School queue for their hot lunch

A frenzy of excitement is heard in the dusty yard of Baletamin Primary school. Small eager hands stretch out in queues as they wait to be served. Not being sure of what they will have for dinner, lunchtime for these children means they get an opportunity to access food rich in nutrients which meets the dietary demands. The head teacher tells us that most children in the school are from vulnerable households and therefore heavily reliant on such programs that contribute significantly to their daily nutrients requirements.

A teacher serving a student a hot meal portion.

“The school feeding program has contributed significantly to pupils’ retention and enrolment compared to schools not supported by the program. The school has seen an increase in enrolment and improved individual academic performance, as the children now observe high levels of attentiveness and has reduced absenteeism due to illness associated with malnutrition. “says the school head teacher.

This daily meal provision at the school has provided parents with a strong incentive to send their children to attend classroom sessions and access quality education service. Food for their children is one less thing parents have to worry about.

Amina, a parent of four students at the school, says, “Looking for nutritious food for ten children is not easy, many times we survive on only one meal a day. My family and I have been relying on food aids, which sustains us for only a short period; however, the school feeding program introduced by NAPAD has motivated me to send and ensure that my children remain in school. After all, the future belongs to them. If I fail to prepare them, then the vicious cycle of poverty will never end. We are truly grateful to NAPAD for coming to our aid.”

EMPOWERING YOUTH IN GEDO – SOMALIA TO TACKLE POVERTY THROUGH BUSINESS VENTURES

Youth unemployment is one of the most critical socio-economic and political problems facing Africa, particularly the Horn of Africa. Young people face hostile economic environments where job markets dry up, and there are limited options. Due to the perennial droughts, conflicts, and perpetual insecurity in the area, the people of this region suffered the loss of their livelihoods and constant poverty, which was compounded by a lack of meaningful employment to assist them in regaining economically.

Meet Mohamed Hassan Dahir, a 35-year-old resident of Garbaharey district from the Shabeel Village host community

Mohammed Dahir a beneficiary of the program loading goods for a customer into the Rickshaw.

After my father died, I had to drop out of school and take care of my family. I used to do manual work like offloading and loading to feed my family. At times I worked as a casual laborer in the construction sites. Income-generating activities are limited for unskilled workers like myself. The meager earnings I get from the casual jobs are barely enough to sustain my family household of 10 members,” Says Mohammed

The solution to unemployment lies in young people’s minds, who only need to be empowered to turn their ideas into the next big thing, creating new sustainable jobs with every enterprise.

To address this need NAPAD with funding from Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and Terre d’ hermes (TDH), conducted business training for five existing youth and women groups to empower them to handle and run sustainable businesses that can help their household members and the community. The training was conducted in Garbaharey, and the groups provided in-kind support of their preferences in the form of Auto-rickshaws, refreshment distribution stock, and solar charging fridges.

We got the training on managing the business, and my group received an auto-rickshaw (TUKTUK) as business support. All the members of the group operate the auto-rickshaw and we distribute the profits amongst ourselves,” says Mohammed. “The cost per person sharing is based on the distance the customer is going. Within the town, we charge between $1 to $1.5. In a day we get approximately $5 to $8. The profit I get I use to take care of my family expenses. My entire family and I are so grateful to NAPAD,” He continues.

Mohammed transporting a customer on the Rickshaw the group received from the project.

The distribution of the in-kind support was organized in a public forum represented by the beneficiaries, elders, and local authorities. The leaders appreciated the efforts put in by NAPAD and thanked the donors for the intervention.

I have never considered myself an entrepreneur. It is thanks to NAPAD that I have changed the way I see myself. As unskilled workers we now have a steady income and do not rely on aid,” says Mohammed. “The only challenge is that the beneficiaries are many in a group and therefore the profit is small in regards to the number of the members,” He continues. 

Mohammed recommends that an additional tuk-tuk be provided to increase the group’s income.

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”.