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

NAPAD’S Poultry Program Sets Precedence For Improved Nutrition Among Vulnerable Communities

For the first time in their history, communities in Abudwak District received poultry in an effort to boost their nutrition and health. In a groundbreaking exercise, Nomadic Assistance for peace and Development (NAPAD) in partnership with Medico International (MI) and German Federal Foreign Office (GFFO) conducted mass poultry distribution to over 400 vulnerable households in the Somalia’s Central, Galgadud and Gedo regions.

NAPAD staff distrubutes chickens to beneficiaries in Dolow District

NAPAD through its partners has been conducting initiatives in Abudwak and Dolow Districts to empower communities on improved nutrition against the backdrop of malnutrition. Drastic weather shifts have caused many vulnerable families to increasingly become food insecure, hence the program aims at improving food security and nutrition. In addition, the program encourages egg consumption at household level while demystifying the myths associated with poultry among the pastoralist.

Through the project, NAPAD and its partners identified 250 people in Abudwaq Districts and 200 beneficiaries in Dolow District from IDP and host communities for chicken rearing training. After the training, the beneficiaries were set to receive poultry for their own rearing.

“We have never reared chicks and this is the first organization that has offered us chicks. We shall take good care of the chicken until they give us eggs. We hope to be great poultry farmers in future”

A beneficiary of the poultry distribution in Abudwak District

“We are very grateful for the three-day poultry training on importance of rearing chicks and its product. We have never reared chicks and this is the first organization that has offered us chicks. We shall take good care of the chicken until they give us eggs. We hope to be great poultry farmers in future,” said one of the beneficiaries.

NAPAD staff during a poultry rearing training of 250 households in Abudwak District

The poultry distribution in Abudwak where each household received 4 chickens and 2 cocks was also replicated in Dolow. With the demand for egg consumption high and willingness of community members to part with 0.2$ per egg, the projects is an opportunity for the women to tap into selling eggs as a source of income.

Community members in Dolow take part in building a chicken coop

After distribution of the chickens, beneficiaries will receive extension services from the NAPAD livestock officer. This will enable NAPAD to learn how the chickens are adopting to the village life and whether they are any challenges they are encountering. Being the first humanitarian aid organization to distribute poultry in Abudwak District, NAPAD hopes to document and share best practices and lessons learnt on the  poultry program for food security and improved nutrition.