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Improving Communal Water Infrastructure in Qool Caday

Access to safe drinking water for both human and animal population is fundamental for good quality of life. Pastoralist communities in the Qool Caday grazing plain of Somaliland, have long suffered the lack of a centralized communal water system for human and animal consumption, despite the fact that the topography of the area offers suitable conditions for sustainable water harvesting.

To address this gap, the Somaliland Ministry of Livestock has secured funding from the Somaliland Development Fund (SDF) to implement the Livestock Holding Ground Project. The project supports the construction of water harvesting infrastructure including drilling of two boreholes and excavation of three earth dams, as well as other livestock enhancing support services including the construction of seven animal health and inspection centers.

The project has so far completed two dams and drilled one communal borehole that supply plentiful water to the local community and their animals. Mr. Jama Hassan Omer (see picture below), 63, is one of the many pastoralists who feel better off with the services provided by the Livestock Holding Ground Project in Qool Caday. He now waters his camels from the communal borehole.

2017.10.06 MoL hassan

“It is a relief for us to have this communal borehole near our encampment. During the worst days of the drought, we had the luxury to water our animals from this communal borehole. Before, there was no such thing as communal, we used to walk long distances and buy water from berkads in Sallahley, owned by individuals. Thank God, this is a total relief”, says Hassan.

Animals were lean and malnourished as a result of the recent El Nino induced drought in the country. Hassan explains that his physically weak camels could barely walk the distances needed to get to water. He embraces the provision of access to safe drinking water for his camels and the community at large near his encampment (see picture below).

2017.10.06 MoL camels

“For animals, best pasture utilization happens when animals do not have to travel far for water. We feel that we are lucky to have this new water facility at such close proximity”, adds Hassan.

The Somaliland Development Fund (SDF) is a 4-year fund designed to support the Government of Somaliland (GoSL) in filling critical gaps by funding projects that are fully aligned to the National Development Plan (NDP). The SDF is currently funded by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) and the Governments of Norway and the Netherlands.

 

Hope of Water for Aroori Pastoralists Restored

 

We are all very excited about the project. This project has come a long way in restoring hope of water for the pastoralists in the Aroori grazing areas. Water is life.”

Aden Mohamed, Resident Aroori, Togdheer

 

The livelihoods of the pastoralists in the Aroori grazing area near Burao mainly depend on herding livestock, good rains and pasture. Recently, their way of life has come under threat due to the recurring droughts, environmental degradation, livestock depletion and drinking water shortages that are experienced in the area during the dry season.

Water shortage has been a problem for years and has an impact on the wellbeing and economic activities of the community. Water shortage also leads to poor sanitation, lack of safe drinking water, and overcrowding at water sources.

Belay Dirie, where Aden Mohamed (see picture below) together with his family resides, has been suffering from water shortages for years. For a long time, Aden and his family were among the communities that depended on small water sources, called berkads, as their only water supply source. These water sources, however, would only hold the water for a short period after the rains fell, and soon after, the problem of water shortage was getting bigger.

2017.10.06 MoL belaydirie

“During the dry season, our berkad and other water sources ran out of water and we would wake up early in the morning and walk for long distances to find water”, says Aden.

“Throughout this time, some of the community members were able to pay for delivery of water by water tankers while others were not, so they would have to move elsewhere in search of water. They were moving into areas where their animals would not be able to graze and would therefore lose their value”, he added.

“I was the first who inhabited this area. I helped to dig the berkad beside us, but the dry season came and there was no water. I left my family by itself and, without a camel or donkey to carry water, reached Ceel-Same area, 7 km from here. I lent a camel from one of my relatives to bring water home. Leaving my family by itself was the most painful thing I encountered.”

To address this, the Ministry of Livestock secured funds from the Somaliland Development Fund (SDF) and is currently implementing the Aroori Livestock Holding Ground Project which aims to enhance livestock exporting systems with infrastructure and provide livestock producers and traders with the means to preserve the condition and market value of export animals.

The project has rehabilitated several communal water sources including four balleys (see one in the picture below) and two boreholes for vulnerable pastoral communities in Aroori.

2017.10.06 MoL balley

The rehabilitated communal water sources now have the capacity to hold enough water and sustain the community through the dry season. Generators are pumping water from the rehabilitated balleys into the water tanks where small pipelines take the water to the animal troughs. This has simplified the process and reduces the amount of time and energy spent for animal watering. In addition, all water points were fenced off to prevent any contamination by animal waste.

Now the community has access to water nearby which, besides for human consumption, it is also using for vegetable growing, washing, and animal watering (see picture below) without any cost.

2017.10.06 MoL animalstroughs

The Somaliland Development Fund (SDF) is a 4-year fund designed to support the Government of Somaliland (GoSL) in filling critical gaps by funding projects that are fully aligned to the National Development Plan (NDP). The SDF is currently funded by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) and the Governments of Norway and the Netherlands. 

 

Seminars Successfully Completed to Improve Ministry of Fisheries Staff Capacity

Somaliland has a long coast line of 850 km along the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean. These waters are home to various species of fish. Unfortunately, Somaliland fishermen are currently capturing less than 5% of the estimated sustainable fish stock in Somaliland.

To promote fish production, improve living conditions of the Somaliland people and create job opportunities, the Somaliland Development Fund (SDF) through the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources has allocated funds to implement the Strengthening Fisheries Management and Production Capacity Project.

The fisheries project is focused on three key objectives with capacity building of ministry staff considered as a main objective. Due to the shortage of qualified staff at the Ministry, there is a clear need for training. The fisheries project has carried out four trainings in Berbera and Erigavo and three more are planned for Sanaag. Since these trainings have largely benefitted field staff of the MoFMR, the seminars were carried out to build capacity of headquarters staff and provide them with an overview of pertinent topics in fisheries. The seminars were carried out over a six-month period from February to the beginning of July in 2017.

The Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Mr. Ali Jama Farah, attended the closing event and handed out certificates together with the Project Manager.

2017.08.16 MoFMR Minister2

He stated: “I am very delighted to attend this seminar today as the last one of 19. I want to congratulate everyone who participated. This training was carried out on significant topics in fisheries providing certain areas of knowledge to help improve your current work.”

"You have definitely received an overview that you could not get anywhere else, since the country has no universities and schools to learn to fish. This training has offered a lot of knowledge about fisheries, “ the Minister added.

Muse Yusuf Ibrahim, a participant and Assistant Director of the Planning Department of the Ministry of Fisheries said, “The seminars were launched in February and ended in July 2017. There were 19 in total. The seminars were very important to me because of the long period that we partipated in them, while other trainings were short, and that makes the difference.”

2017.08.16 MoFMR Muse2

“I remember in 2015 I attended a workshop about fisheries, organized by a local NGO. I had no fisheries background at that time. I could not understand the presentations during the training sessions which made me unable to answer the questions following the training discussions. Now I have better knowledge about the fisheries and am ready to apply what I have learned,” Muse continued to explain.

“This training has really given me confidence to influence my duties, as well as provided all participants with a lot of knowledge on the value of fish and its different kinds. Thank you to the SDF and the Ministry team who helped and contributed to making this training a fabulous success,” Muse concluded.

Asraar Abdullahi Adam, emplyed at the Ministry of Fisheries' M&E Department, received her certificate for completing the seminars (2nd from left).

2017.08.16 MoFMR Certificates2

Explaining the importance of the training she said: “As I am a new employee, it makes me really happy to have participated and I am very fortunate to have had the opportunity to be educated on something I am interested in. Each session presented important topics in fisheries, prepared by a different participant and that made the training unique.”

“The communication barrier between me and the fishermen during our meetings in Berbera was the biggest challenge I have had during my work. I could not understand when they were explaining something about the fish, but now I am well educated and will understand,” Asraar concluded.

The SDF is a 4-year fund designed to support the Government of Somaliland (GoSL) filling a critical gap funding projects that are fully aligned to the National Development Plan (NDP). The SDF is currently funded by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA), and the Governments of Norway and The Netherlands.

Launch of Construction of the Water Technology Institute

The ground-breaking ceremony for the construction of the Water Technology Institute was held on 26 July 2017 in Hargeisa. The event marks the start of the construction of the renewed Water Technology Institute. The project is implemented by the Somaliland Ministry of Water Resources and is funded by the Somaliland Development Fund (SDF).

The institute, which provides short term vocational trainings, currently consists of one work shop and two small rooms. The Ministry will construct a one-story building and four classrooms. After completion of the construction, it is expected that the institute can admit more students in a regular way and provide a more advanced level of training.

The launching ceremony was presided over by Hussein Abdi Boos, Minister of Water Resources, and attended by senior officials from the Ministry of Water Resources and officials from the SDF Secretariat.

2017.07.26 MoWR WTI1

While speaking at the launching event, the Minister of Water Resources applauded the donors for their contribution to the development of Somaliland: “I am delighted to witness the ground-breaking ceremony for the construction of the Water Technology Institute in Hargeisa. This is the result of the joint effort of the Ministry of Water Resources and the donor community, through the SDF, whom we are very thankful to. This institute, when fully functional, will contribute major benefits to the Water Distribution System maintenances. The students graduated from the institute will be operating at different sites where boreholes and water supply systems are located. The graduates will be able to handle efficiently any technical problems occurring in these different locations, thereby reducing downtime of the systems and reducing the frequency with which we have to send engineers from Hargeisa. Students from this institute will be well educated and well equipped to continue their duties in an effective way”.

Other water project activities implemented by the Ministry of Water and funded by the SDF in Somaliland include:

  1. Development of a 25-year water supply master plan for Berbera (Sahil region)
  2. Expansion of Burco urban water supply system (Togdheer region)
  3. Comprehensive water study, detailed design and drilling exploration boreholes for Lasanood urban water supply system (Sool region)
  4. Drilling of a borehole and construction of Hadaaftimo water supply system (Sanaag region)
  5. Drilling of a borehole and construction of mini water supply system in Gargoorey (Awdal region)
  6. Detailed design for Elafwein water supply system (Sanaag region)
  7. Technical feasibility study, detailed design and construction of two dams in Fiqifuliye and Kulaal villages (Sanaag region)
  8. Detailed design and procurement of water distribution system supplies for Borama town
  9. Capacity building programme for the MoWR (at different levels)

2017.07.26 MoWR WTI2

The Somaliland Development Fund is a 4-year fund designed to support the Government of Somaliland (GoSL) filling a critical gap supporting projects that are fully aligned to the National Development Plan (NDP). SDF is currently funded by the Department for International Development (DFID), the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA), the Royal Norwegian Embassy and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The management of the SDF Secretariat has been contracted to BMB Mott MacDonald, an international consulting company, which is responsible for the management of the Fund on behalf of the Government of Somaliland and the donors. The SDF has allocated funding for various projects, implemented by the Ministry of Water as well as other Ministries/Agencies.

Water Is Such a Blessing

Somaliland is a water-scarce country and access to a safe and permanent water supply is a major problem. Against this background, the Somaliland Development Fund, through the Ministry of Water Resources, has funded the Water Resources Development Project. The project aims to improve the availability and access of water in Somaliland in a sustainable, equitable and environmentally safe way for all different uses.

The project also strengthens the institutional and operational capacity of the Ministry of Water Resources at central, regional and district levels in order to be able to rehabilitate and sustainably manage the nation’s water resources and to successfully deliver water services to all of Somaliland people.

The project is undertaking development activities of communal water infrastructure in nine locations across the country of which some have been completed, and others are in progress. One of these is Gargooray, a predominantly pastoralist community around 65 km north of Borama, the capital of Awdal region.

The area was notorious for its protracted water scarcity and the situation used to deteriorate during the dry season. Several attempts by the former Somali government to secure permanent water supply for this community turned out to be unsuccessful. However, this SDF funded Water Resources Development Project has drilled a communal borehole and completed the construction of utilization facilities, including a water reservoir, communal tap, kiosk and animal troughs. This benefits approximately 3,000 people and 150,000 livestock. The community members and their animals now enjoy access to hassle-free safe drinking water. Donkeys are used as pack animals, mainly for transporting water over rough and hilly terrains.

Malayko Muse, 53, is a single mother of 15 children, 8 boys and 7 girls. The children take care of the family animals (goats, sheep, camels and cattle) while she fetches water.

2017.08.08 MoWR Malayko

Malayko recalls the harrowing experience of losing her two donkeys after they were attacked by hyenas during the winter of 2015 while she and her donkeys were on their way to fetch water from Halimaale, a quarry that was several hills away.

“During the dry season, I used to wake up at 2:00 am in the morning to be at the water point as early as possible and to avoid the long queues. One day, my two donkeys and I embarked on our usual 8-hour journey to and from Halimaale water point. It was dark and chilly and I was walking behind the donkeys on a steep pathway, when suddenly a group of hungry hyenas attacked us. The donkeys fled but the hyenas chased them and within seconds, they were nowhere to be seen. I followed their hoof prints using my flashlight and after searching for around 30 minutes, I found their carcasses in the middle of nowhere. It was a devastating experience.

I collected the empty jerry cans, tied them on my back, and returned back home empty-handed, not knowing what to do. When I finally reached the locality, I approached one of my neighbours in the hope of borrowing a camel to use for fetching water from the same water point the same day. The neighbour generously lent me a camel and I was finally able to bring water home in the evening and prepare food for my children. When my story was heard by everyone in the community, they launched fundraising and bought me two donkeys after two weeks.”

Women were the main victims of the challenges of the scarcity of water, as fetching water is often their primary responsibility.

“The borehole drilling in Gargooray has been very successful and we are so grateful for all those who supported this effort. This is a relief for the long trek for water. Now it takes me about 40 minutes to fetch water from this communal tap,” adds Malayko.

2017.08.08 MoWR sheep

The SDF is a 4-year fund designed to support the Government of Somaliland (GoSL) filling a critical gap funding projects that are fully aligned to the National Development Plan (NDP). The SDF is currently funded by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA), and the Governments of Norway and The Netherlands.

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Norwegian Embassy

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SDF - Created by Mott MacDonald