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.

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.


Intervening At A Time of Need: NAPAD and SHF Provides Emergency Aid to Vulnerable Communities

Close to 500 vulnerable households in Central Somalia’s Abudwak District have received live-saving relief from NAPAD and SHF in the last three months beginning June 2019.

In the face of extreme weather patterns and protracted wars in Somalia, many families have been left vulnerable, distressed, displaced and in the brink of starvation. Many families depend on livestock as their only source of income and supplement by casual labor or burning of charcoal. Extreme weather patterns experienced in the last few months made many families to move in search of pastures and water for their livestock.

The movement caused a lot of pressure to already existing pastures and water resulting to war between the occupying community and the new arrivals. Many families were also displaced and left in dire conditions with limited or no access to food, water and medication.

Nomadic Assistance for Peace and Development (NAPAD) with funding from the Somalia Humanitarian Fund (SHF), identified and offered assistance to the most vulnerable displaced persons. To enable the vulnerable communities to dictate and meet their urgent needs, unconditional cash transfers to 430 households were made, with each household receiving 124 dollars per month for three months.

This was lifesaving to majority of the beneficiaries who used the largest portion of the money on buying food, water and drugs. The families could now afford a decent meal and the number of meal uptake increased from one meal per day to three meals per day.

Hawo Saidi Diriye, a 50 year old shopkeeper with a 15-member household opened a kiosk to sell tea to enable her to feed the family. The kiosk was operational 5 months before the cash transfer, and  was struggling to maintain the kiosks due high number of dependents and low sales from kiosks. The family only had one meal per day and the food quality was poor.

Hawo Saidi Diriye

 “I thank NAPAD for the grant which came at a time when we were facing severe drought. The cash has improved the standard of living for our community, since we can now afford a decent meal.”

The family can now comfortably afford three quality meals per day. Her sales from the kiosk have also increased since the community have disposable income which they use to buy food stuffs from her kiosk. Before the cash transfer on a good day she would make sales of 10 dollars per day. Now, she is making about 50 dollars per day and this has enabled her to increase the products and expand her business as she ventures into charging phones for the community.