IMPROVING IDP HOUSEHOLDS THROUGH UNCONDITIONAL CASH TRANSFERS

Qoran Abdi Mohamud an IDP in Dayaan IDP camp Abudwak district

Meet Qoran Abdi Mohamud, a mother of eight children who has lived in the Dayaan IDP camp Abudwak district for seven years. Qoran was primarily a pastoralist with herds of goats and sheep. The subsequent droughts and inter-clan conflicts in the region greatly affected and displaced her, and she lost the herd she had.

Life was desolate during periods of persistent drought when access to food was a big hurdle as food prices would shoot up. The only support my family had previously received but on an irregular basis, was food aid from humanitarian organizations,” She says.

Qoran worked causal jobs but struggled to make ends meet.  As the sole provider for her eight children, she found it challenging to balance the need to work and care for them.

As part of the livelihood interventions, Nomadic Assistance for Peace and Development (NAPAD), with funding from Somalia Humanitarian Fund (SHF), is supporting 400HHS IDPs and vulnerable host communities in Abudwak district with unconditional cash transfers (UCTs). Each household is receiving 124 dollars per month for three months. The beneficiaries were fairly selected from their respective camps and settlements by their community leaders following the standard selection criteria set by NAPAD.

When I received the money there was no food in our house.

Qoran abdi

Qoran’s life took a positive turn when she was one of the vulnerable households selected to benefit from the cash transfer program.

Qoran prepares a meal with the foodstuff she brought after receiving the UCT

I received 124 dollars in July through my Mobile, and I was thrilled to get such support,” Said Qoran. “The money I received I used to clear some debt, purchase foodstuff, water, firewood, and some clothes for the family. When I received the cash, there was no food in our house,” she continues.

Qoran also informed us that she is awaiting two more cash transfers in the following months; this will improve her family’s well-being and relieve the burden and worry about how she would carter for her family for those two months.

Qoran is grateful that NAPAD, intervened with this initiative to assist the vulnerable families in Abudwak and encourages NAPAD and SHF to continue supporting all displaced families. She says:

The IDP camps here are where the poorest families live and providing such support at a time like this will enable the affected families to meet daily household needs.”

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.

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

Somalia Humanitarian Fund Supports NAPAD in Securing Pastoral Livelihoods

Herds of cattle and camels some with prominent ribcages shepherded along dusty roads is not an uncommon site in Abudwak District, Somalia. Due to natural calamities and environmental degradation, pastoralists are forced to migrate from time to time in search of water and pasture. Whilst solving one problem, other challenges crop up which threatens livelihoods of the nomads.

Herds of camels in Abudwaq Disrict. Camels are kept for milk production, meat and transportation

The movement of pastoralists from one area to another elicits challenges like conflicts arising from the scramble of limited grazing areas and watering points. Most of the time however, conflicts are resolved and the pastoralists come to some form of agreement.

A pastoralist milking a camel

A threat that lingers however is the spread of diseases brought about by animal movement. Potential spread of lethal animal infections such as small ruminants plague (Peste des Petits Ruminants – PPR), sheep and goat pox and Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) as well as non-lethal diseases such as infestations of internal parasites threatens the livelihoods of pastoralists.

The absence of veterinary services and vaccination programs against major livestock diseases in Abudwak District hinders livestock production as some animals succumb to diseases. In some cases, households have reported a 20%-30% loss of livestock. Since there are no vaccination programs, most of the livestock diseases go unattended creating fatal consequences to the livelihood communities rely on.

To secure their livelihoods, Nomadic Assistance for Peace and Development (NAPAD) with support from the Somalia Humanitarian Fund (SHF) treated over 18,000 animals belonging to 600 vulnerable IDP and host communities’ households.

Animal treatment targeting 600 households in Abudwak District

The treatment conducted between July and August 2019 involved deworming, hoof trimming, and giving supportive multivitamins to weak animals. The ailing livestock were treated with a broad spectrum antibiotics and a dosage of multivitamin. The community were very elated by the intervention to protect their livestock assets which they were in the verge of losing due to illnesses.

Hassan Shire was in the verge of loosing most of his goats due to diseases

“My goats were almost dying and I had no money to purchase drugs. The treatment exercise came in at the right time when there was an outbreak of Pneumonia among small ruminants. We thank God that through NAPAD our livestock were treated,” says Hassan Abdullahi Shire.

Beneficiaries like Hassan have since reported improved health and body mass of their animals following the treatment intervention. Their livestock have recorded increased milk production and can even fetch good prices at the market thus securing their livelihoods.

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.