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

HEALTHY HERD BOOSTS IDP INCOME IN SOUTHERN SOMALIA

As one traverses Abduwak district, one cannot help but notice its vast plain lands with spacey grasslands and shrubs doted by hundreds of livestock; camels, cows, donkeys sheep and goats. Recurrent drought in the pasts five years with subsequent deterioration of pastures and prevalence of livestock diseases resulted to loss of thousands of livestock severely affecting the livelihoods of the pastoralist communities in the district.  Competition for scarce resources has led sporadic clan conflicts that have exacerbated the vulnerability of the residents.

Abdul is one of the residents of the district who lost hundreds of livestock during the 2017/2018 famine. Whilst remarkably resilient, Abdul has a sense of loss;

“My sheep and Goats died from a strange disease and drought. I only remained with 30 animals which could barely produce any milk.I was unable to sell them at the market,” Says Abdul.

Abdul holds up his sheep to receive a vaccine.

Abdul like many other residents of the district rely entirely on the livestock for their livelihood. With the loss of over 80% of their stock and reduced market prices the pastoralist can hardly feed their families. The communities are spending all their income on food, water and other non-food essentials. This leaves barely any income left for treatment and care of their livestock. Families in this area are already bearing the brunt of the negative economic impact, a fact reflected in the high levels of household indebtedness which is also severely constraining food access. Continuous support of pastoralist households must build resilience against climate-related shocks by providing timely veterinary and feeding assistance for their animals.

 “For years I have struggled to feed the ten members of my family from the meagre income I earned from my small herd. Without technical skills or training, I was ill-equipped to grow the herd or improve their health to fetch better prices in the market, no matter how badly I wanted to improve my livestock production capacity.” Abdul narrates.

NAPAD in partnership with Medico International through funding from German Federal Foreign Office (GFFO), supported the treatment of over 20, 800 animals for 2200 households in four remote villages in the district.  Community Animal Health Workers (CAHWs) were identified and received a pre-treatment refresher training from the NAPAD Animal Health Officer. The 5-day training covered all relevant topics on symptoms of diseases, treatment, handling of animals. The trained CAHWs together with NAPAD animal health officer treated and dewormed ailing animals from the vulnerable households.  Common diseases treated include sheep and goat pox (SGP) and Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD). The CAWH also instructed livestock owners on good livestock production practices such as hoof trimming, regular deworming with the intent to improve animal productivity. 

NAPAD’s Animal health Officer during the vaccination and treatment drive.

My livestock now produce additional litres of milk compared to production amounts before the program. Increased production has allowed me to provide milk for my children and also sell the extra milk and use the money for food, health services, and school fees.” Says Abdul

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

NCA-NAPAD Project Ensures Taps Never Run Dry in Dolow District

The aftermath of the 2017 drought had devastating effects, leaving half of Somalia’s population with food and water shortages. Portable water became scarce and existing water supplies became unfit for consumption, accelerating water borne diseases. One year after the drought, vulnerable communities still felt the pangs of famine. There was slow recovery from the aftershocks of drought for most rural communities as food and water shortages were still existing. To address this, Nomadic Assistance for Peace and Development (NAPAD) in partnership with the Norwegian Church Aid (NCA) implemented a WASH intervention in Somalia’s Gedo region helping vulnerable communities regain their balance post-drought period.

The NCA Drought Response and Recovery Program, implemented two years ago enabled drought stricken communities in Qurdubey and Busle village, Dolow District to access safe, equitable and sustainable access to water. The project consisted rehabilitation of a shallow well, installation of a solar pumping system, construction of a 20,000 elevated water tank and a water kiosk in each of the village. The water project is also extended to important institutions in the village such as hospitals and schools, providing clean water to Qurdubey and Busle Primary schools and health centres.

Besides helping the communities quench their thirst, the project put in place sustainable measures to uplift the communities. Water kiosks were fitted with charging ports as a means of generating income and fencing of the kiosks to ensure safety for the communities as they access water.

Qurdubey- ‘My queens no longer worry about water’

Kusoow Ibrahim accompanies his two sons and two daughters to Qurdubey Village water kiosk as they fetch water for their family. Two years ago, his wife and daughters, in the company of other women would trek a total of 6KM to and fro River Ganane every morning and evening to fetch water. His wife and children had to perform this treacherous task religiously to quench their thirst.

Kusoow Ibrahim with his two sons and one of his daughters at the water kiosk

Like in most rural villages of Somalia, water fetching is a task mostly reserved for women. The long and tiresome journeys in search of water are usually coupled with insecurity. Wild animals such as crocodiles are imminent threats when fetching water along the river banks.

“I knew what it meant for us, especially for my family. Ever since this project was implemented, my queens no longer worry about water or travel for hours to the River as the water kiosk is a stone throw away…”

kUSOOW IBRAHIM

”I was the happiest man on earth when this project became a reality. I knew what it meant for us, especially for my family. Ever since this project was implemented, my queens no longer worry about water or travel for hours to the River as the water kiosk is a stone throw away,” says the father of 12.  

Kusoow Ibrahim with one of his daughters. In rural Somalia, water fetching is a task mostly reserved for women.

The water kiosk fitted with 8 taps serves eight people at ago, and provides clean treated water to more 1,800 people. The charging ports in the water kiosk ran by the water management committee help generate income and act as subsidies for the residents in return.

The Qurdubey Water kiosk serves over 1,800 people

”Every family pays 35 Bir (1.50 Dollars) as fee for every month. The destitute and those with special needs are not charged,” Kussow explains.

Since 2018, water problems in Qurdubey village and its environs is a thing of the past and many families have now shifted their minds on other activates such farming.

Busle- ‘Alhamdulillah! we are less than five minutes away from the water point’

A few kilometres from Qurdubey Village is Busle Village where Mama Ebla fetches water for her family at the Busle water kiosk. This is a chore she has observed diligently since her teenage years, only that now the water has been brought closer to her. It’s almost two years since Mama Ebla and other Busle Village residents have been accessing water without a hitch. The mother of five recalls how in the past she would trek 8KM to and fro River Ganane twice on daily basis to fetch water for her family.

“We would travel two and half hours to and from the river every time I fetch water…”

Mama eBLA
Mama Ebla fetxhing water at the Busle water kiosk

”Early in the morning I would go to the river in the company of other women, equipped with my jerricans to fetch water for my family and on my way back again I would collect firewood along the way and put it on my back. We would travel two and half hours to and from the river every time I fetch water, ” Mama Ebla narrates.

Mama Ebla and the community were offered respite after NAPAD and NCA implemented the project. Since May 2018, the project has been providing clean water to 500 households in Busle village and three neighbouring villages; Maskino, Kulunle and Ramagororo villages. 

“We couldn’t believe that we were no longer trekking to the river to fetch water. Alhamdulillah! we are less than five minutes away from the water point and I am grateful that I can access it anytime,” says Mama Ebla with a smile.

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.


NAPAD and NCA Reach 6,000 Students In A Text Book Distribution In Dollow and Belet Hawa Districts

Access to quality education in most parts of Somalia is hindered due to lack of adequate resources such as proper infrastructure, human personnel and books. NAPAD in partnership with Norwegian Church Aid (NCA) distributed a total of 850 textbooks to 8 Schools in Dollow and Belet Hawa, Districts with the least district level school developments in Somalia.

Through the project, ‘Education for Peace and Sustainable Development’ launched in January 2019, over 6,000 students benefited from the distribution of school text books in the two Districts located in Gedo region. Belet Hawa has a high population of schools in the town while Dollow has low literacy levels especially in the villages.

In Dollow District, five schools; Surgadud, Dusey, Qurdubey, Busle, and Gondobow Primary Schools were reached while in Belet Hawa District Dawa, Oda, and Al-Qalam Primary Schools were reached in the distribution.  In the selected schools, only teachers and very few students could afford to buy textbooks.

The distribution of Maths, English, Sciences, Arabic, tarbiyaha islamiyaha (religious studies), Somali language, Cilmiga Bulshada (social studies) books reached 20 teachers and 1120 students in Belet Hawa while in Dollow, a total of 20 teachers and 920 students were reached.

Somalia has the world’s lowest enrollment rate for primary-school-age children with only 30 per cent of primary school students enrolled according to the UN. NAPAD has been working with NCA in the education front since 2017 to bring equitable access to quality Primary and Secondary education. Through the 2019 project, a total of $ 81,360 in incentives was given to 84 school teachers and $ 31600 given to 20 school head teachers’ between January and November as means to support and promote education.

NAPAD addresses barriers to education for children who are at risk of exploitation, child marriage, and low income households. By working with its partners, communities and local governments, NAPAD seeks to improve the quality of education through construction and equipping of learning centers, human resource for the institutions, food aid, hygiene and sanitation in schools.