Stories of change

Press Release - New Danish Ambassador pays first visit to SDF-funded Borama Urban Water Improvement Project

26 January 2023, Borama, Awdal, Somaliland

The Denmark Ambassador to Somalia, Steen Sonne Andersen, paid his first visit to the Borama Urban Water Improvement Project. This project is implemented by the Ministry of Water Resource Development (MoWRD) and funded by the Somaliland Development Fund (SDF). The SDF is supported by the United Kingdom, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Norway. The Ambassador was accompanied by H.E. Dr. Ahmed Adan Buhane, Minister of Planning and National Development, and several other high-ranking government officials, including the Governor of Awdal.

Since 2013, Denmark has been assisting the Government of Somaliland in delivering development projects in Somaliland through the SDF. The Borama Urban Water Improvement Project is expected to make a significant difference in the lives of Borama residents. The improvement of the water system involves equipping and connecting the three boreholes in the Afraaga area through 19 km of pipelines to the existing water system, as well as the construction of two 500,000-liter water tanks. The project, which is expected to be completed in March 2023 will provide water for an additional 76,000 people in Borama.

The purpose of the visit was for the Ambassador to get acquainted with how SDF works on the ground in delivering projects as well as to observe the progress made on this important project. During the visit, the Ambassador and his delegation toured the various project sites including the new modern water pumping/booster station, water reservoirs/tanks, boreholes, guest houses, and offices. He also visited the SHABA office, the local public-private partnership that manages Borama water.

At the project site, he was briefed by Ahmed Abdilahi, the MoWRD Project Manager, about the status of the water project. In his presentation, the Project Manager stated that "the boreholes are already connected to the system, the construction of the booster station is complete, the water tanks and 19 km pipelaying is complete. We are only waiting for the electro-mechanical supplies, of which some parts are already in the country. This means the project is 92% finished. We hope to have the system fully operational by end of March of this year”. 

In his remarks, the Ambassador said: "I am very pleased with Denmark's long collaboration with Somaliland. I came to observe the water investments in Borama and see its progress. I'm also delighted to be here with SDF, of which Denmark is a major supporter and donor. I am very impressed with the work I have seen here."

In his statement, the Minister of Planning and National Development who accompanied the Ambassador thanked Denmark, the UK, the Netherlands, and Norway for their long-term support to the people of Somaliland and funding to this project in Borama.

Press Release - President launches the SDF2 funded Burao-Berbera Road Rehabilitation Project

Burao - 17 September 2022

The Ministry of Transport and Roads Development (MoTRD) has today officially launched the Burao-Berbera Road Rehabilitation Project which is funded by the second phase of the Somaliland Development Fund (SDF). The launching of the project was officiated by the President of Somaliland, H.E. Muse Bihi Abdi, in Burao, Togdheer region. The event was also attended by the Minister of Transport and Roads Development, H.E. Abdirisak Ibrahim Abdi, the Minister for Planning and National Development, Dr Ahmed Aden Buhane, the Governor of Togdheer region, the Mayor of Burao Town, senior officials from the government of Somaliland, members of the SDF Secretariat and residents of Burao and Berbera. 

The President of Somaliland HE Muse Bihi Abdi speaking at the launch of Burao Berbera Road Project Launch 2

The project seeks to fully rehabilitate 62 km of road and four bridges between Burao and Berbera with an aim of improving connectivity between Burao and Berbera towns. This will effectively provide better connectivity between Eastern Somaliland, which is the largest source of Somaliland livestock, and the seaport city of Berbera.

Under the project, the following activities are being implemented:

  • Full rehabilitation of 62 km of the Burao-Berbera Road that comprises shoulder, edge breaks repairs, pothole patching and providing 40mm asphalt overlay.
  • Full rehabilitation of four bridges, namely Dubur Bridge, Laaleys Bridge, Gelokor Bridge and Kalajab Bridge.
  • Full detailed design of Erigavo-Maydh road.
  • Supply and installation of road maintenance equipment.
  • Technical training of the MoTRD staff in road maintenance.
  • Development of road safety policy and supporting its roll out.

The President of Somaliland laying the foundation for the rehabilitation of Burao Berbera Road

Recently, three firms were contracted under the SDF to concurrently implement the rehabilitation of the road works including the four bridges at the cost of USD 8 million. These firms are Somaliland Hono Group, Ihsan Construction and Drilling Company and Chongqing Overseas Construction Corporation (COCC). The firms are expected to fully complete the rehabilitation work in the next 12 months. Once completed, the proposed project is expected to lead to a reduction in travel times, vehicle operating costs and motor vehicle accidents, in areas traversed and connected by the road.

In his opening remarks, the President of Somaliland, H.E. Muse Abdi Bihi said I applaud the Somaliland Development Fund, Ministry of Planning, and Ministry of Transport, Roads Development for this critical infrastructure project. Roads are currently the most critical infrastructure, and my government is doing everything it can to prioritize them. The one we are launching today is a great example.”

 Also speaking at the event, the Minister of Transport and Roads Development, H.E. Abdirisak Ibrahim Abdi, applauded the donors for their participation and generous contribution to the development of Somaliland. In addition to that, The Minister said: " The road project launched today is one of the biggest projects in Eastern regions and is part of the second National Development Plan priority. We anticipate that improved connectivity between Burao and Berbera will boost economic growth.”  

The Minister for Planning and National Development, Dr Ahmed Aden Buhane in his remarks thanked the SDF development partners (UK, Demark, The Netherlands and Norway) for their generosity and commitment towards uplifting Somaliland’s economy through government-led projects such as the project being launched today. He also highlighted that the Somaliland Development Fund was established in 2012 as the government's preferred vehicle to delivering inclusive economic development to Somaliland. SDF investments are guided by the National Development Plan priorities.”

The Somaliland Development Fund – Phase 2 (SDF2) covers the period 2018-2024. SDF2 is conceived as an inclusive economic development programme, supporting the GoSL in delivering infrastructure that is relevant for inclusive economic development. It focuses on sustainable investments that spur job creation and fast growth, while at the same time laying the foundation for long-term resilience and development, leading to a more stable and peaceful Somaliland. SDF2’s ambitions are fully aligned with the NDP2 and reflect the priorities set out in Somaliland Vision 2030. SDF is funded by contributions from the governments of the United Kingdom, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Norway.

Press Release - New Minister of Planning pays first visit to SDF-funded Geed Deeble Water Project

Geed Deeble, Hargeisa - 10 August 2022

On his maiden visit to the projects funded under the Somaliland Development Fund Phase 2 (SDF2), the new Minister of Planning and National Development, H.E. Dr. Ahmed Adan Ahmed Buhane, reached Geed Deeble and Biyo-Shiinaha, situated approximately 25km north of Hargeisa city. This area has been the principal source of water for Hargeisa since 1972.

HWA MoP FCDO visit picture 1

Under its current phase, SDF is funding two water projects for Hargeisa city. During this monitoring and learning visit, the Minister was joined by the Deputy Head of Office and Head of Development, British Office Hargeisa, Morgan Riley, the Director of Planning of Hargeisa Water Agency (HWA), Ahmed Muse Dahir, and other government officials.

At the New Geed Deeble Pumping Station (NGDPS), funded by other development partners, the Minister was briefed by HWA’s Director of Planning about the status of the water projects. “The first project, which was completed in 2020, was the construction of a new wellfield collector as the old one needed to be replaced because it was not able to deliver additional water to Hargeisa.” He added that the second project, the Laasdhure Project, is proceeding as planned, with most of the preparatory work completed such as selection of contractors. Its primary contribution is the addition of four million liters of water per day to Hargeisa, through the construction of a 14km pipeline connecting the three boreholes in the Laasdhure wellfield to the NGDPS.

HWA MoP FCDO visit picture 2

These projects are part of the wider Hargeisa water supply improvements and will thus contribute to a greater number of citizens having access to clean and affordable water. Additionally, the ongoing SDF-funded water project is also supporting a water study, which is aimed at identifying other water sources for Hargeisa city in the next 20 years.

The Minister visited the several project sites in Geed Deeble to observe the various project components, including boreholes, the new pumping station, electro-mechanical equipment for water pumping, distribution lines, and storage facilities.

The Minister briefed the media at the end of today’s monitoring visit, saying, “I am happy to visit here today because of its importance. I saw the wonderful job that has been done so far. As per the HWA’s brief and the realities I have seen, I can confidently say that the project is on track, and we are looking forward to its completion in September and bringing clean and affordable water to Hargeisa city.”

HWA MoP FCDO visit picture 3

 Finally, the Minister commended Somaliland's development partners (the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Norway) for their continued support of the Somaliland Development Fund (SDF), emphasizing that the SDF remains the country's chosen vehicle for development partnership.

Press Release - MoLFD Launches SDF2 Funded Aroori Livestock Centre of Excellence

Hargeisa - 3 August 2022

The Minister of Livestock and Fisheries Development (MoLFD), H.E. Saeed Sulub Mohamed, today officially launched the Aroori Livestock Centre of Excellence (ALCE) in Hargeisa. The ALCE is one of the activities under the Strengthening Animal Production and Health Services Project funded by the Somaliland Development Fund (SDF). This activity follows a groundbreaking event conducted by the Minister in Aroori in June 2022.

HE Saeed Sulub Minister of Livestock speaking at the launch of the ALCE

ALCE 20220803

The Strengthening Animal Production and Health Services Project aims to improve the livelihood of livestock producers and fodder farmers in Togdheer and Sanaag regions through trainings, operational research, disease surveillance support and increased fodder production.

With funding from the first phase of the SDF, the Ministry of Livestock established the Aroori Livestock Holding Ground (LHG), which has provided hundreds of thousands of livestock with much-needed fodder and water, hence effectively cautioning them from starvation and death for a period of over three months. With funding from the second phase of the SDF, the Ministry foresees converting the Aroori LHG to a Livestock Centre of Excellence (LCE). The new Aroori LCE will serve as a center for applied research, knowledge, and information dissemination for the livestock producers in Somaliland. The Centre will work directly with the pastoralist communities in the area and will disseminate livestock development knowledge and best practices to the local people.

This event marks the commencement of a range of sub activities aimed at converting the current Aroori LHG in Togdheer into an LCE which includes:

  • Setting up of the LCE management system with external technical assistance over the next 15 months.
  • Construction and rehabilitation of infrastructure – offices, dormitories, water supply, fodder irrigation demos, veterinary support.
  • Provision of equipment to the LCE – fodder processing, mobile veterinary, extension services.

Speaking during the event, the Minister of Livestock and Fisheries Development, H.E. Saeed Sulub Mohamed, stated that “the conserved land in Aroori sustained the lives of 4,000 families during this drought season. When we allowed livestock owners to access Aroori Livestock Holding Ground, it provided water and fodder to 800,000 sheep and goats, 21,000 camels, 400 cattle in Togdheer, Sanaag, and its surroundings.”

Aroori Best Selected Photos 4

The Minister further reiterated that “the Ministry decided to upgrade Aroori LHG to Livestock Center of Excellence to consolidate the above-mentioned results and ensure continuity to providing the livestock producers with the much-required fodder and water in the future.”

The Aroori Livestock Centre of Excellence (ALCE) is a part of the Strengthening Animal Production and Health Services Project funded by Somaliland Development Fund Phase 2 (SDF2) and is implemented by the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries Development (MoLFD). SDF2 covers the period 2018-2024. SDF2 is conceived as an inclusive economic development programme, supporting the GoSL in delivering relevant infrastructure. It focuses on sustainable investments that spur job creation and fast growth, while at the same time laying the foundation for long-term resilience and development, leading to a more stable and peaceful Somaliland. SDF2’s ambitions are fully aligned with the NDP2 and reflect the priorities set out in Somaliland Vision 2030. SDF2 is funded by contributions from the governments of the United Kingdom, Denmark, the Netherlands and Norway.

Rural water solutions through sub-surface dams

When you enter Cusbaale, a hamlet settlement under Dhaboolaq in Maroodijeeh, you notice wells having water, water trucking and a few beautiful farms, even in the current drought. Cusbaale lies not far from the banks of the little seasonal stream that runs through Dhaboolaq village to the West and is home to a small inter-related agricultural community.

Mohamed Muhumed, 60, and his extended family (six families in two huts) have lived with their livestock on two farms in Cusbaale their entire life. Mohamed reminisces about the time before investments were made in water in his village.

“For a long time, our small settlement suffered from acute water shortages of drinking water, aggravated by climate change. We sometimes relocated and mostly depended on distant sources. The nearest was Dhaboolaq, almost 5 km to and from every day in the scorching sun.”

Fortunately, in 2018, through the Sustainable Land Management Project implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture Development and funded under the first phase of the Somaliland Development Fund (SDF1), Cusbaale was identified as one of the places to build sub-surface dams. A total of six sub-surface dams were built, with a depth of 4 meters and a width of 40 meters each, across the Cusbaale riverbed. The objective of the sub-surface dams was to increase the water storage and raise the water table for the village to provide sustainable water.

Nearly 900,000 meters of soil bunds were constructed around farming areas to reduce water runoff velocity and retain moisture for the farms. Two years later, a charity organization came to the village to dig wells. The locals showed them where the sub-surface dams had been built and the water table was expected to be high.

MoAD shallow wells

"With our guidance, six shallow wells were dug across the areas where we thought the water table had risen. Four of the new wells are just a few steps away from our home. We have more water usage options during the drought, including drinking, washing, cleaning, and watering animals."

According to Mohamed, six nearby settlements are directly benefiting from the water. Water truckers are also able to obtain water and sell it to remote areas at low cost.

MoAD Mohamed Muhumed at one of the shallow wells

After relying on the wells for the last few years, it seems that their level is dropping but it is expected there will be adequate water if a few more meters are dug. Therefore, Mohamed and his neighbors are planning to form a farming cooperative to dig the wells deeper and then utilize them for irrigation purposes to increase their productivity and subsequently raise their family income.

Cash-for-work empowers Ibrahim in the midst of drought

The Durdur Ad Catchment located in Awdal region is among the most suitable areas for agriculture in Somaliland. Unfortunately, the area has been facing land degradation challenges, particularly extensive soil erosion resulting in deep gullies formation. This decline in natural agricultural resources has a direct impact on the communities who have settled in the area permanently and who depend almost entirely on crop production and livestock keeping. The ongoing drought means an even more significant impact on these rural livelihoods and community resilience to environmental shocks.

With support from the Somaliland Development Fund (SDF) through the Ministry of Agricultural Development (MoAD), Agricultural Development Organization (ADO), a local partner organization, is implementing an 18-month soil and water conservation management project in Awdal’s Dilla and Jaarahorato areas. The project is providing short-term employment opportunities to the local communities through cash-for-work activities, such as constructing soil bunds, hillside terracing, eyebrow bunds, trenches, and water ways to hold water run-off for farms in Dilla to improve agricultural production.

MoAD Ibrahim Qasim

Ibrahim Qasim, a 50-year-old father of nine children, was happy to be among the 50 farmers who have participated in the construction of soil bunds for 22 farms in Dilla in the last three months. Ibrahim and his family were also among farmers trained in modern farming skills. He said;

 "I have already applied these skills and am looking forward to better yields. I settled all my arrears at a local shop and was able to pay the school fees and food for the children. We are also optimistic and ready for the rain, thanks to the new soil and water conversation structures."

MoAD Ibrahim Qasim rehab compressed

Since most of the farmers in Dilla have been unable to get enough yield from their farms since the end of 2021 due to a failed Deyr season, the cash-for-work payments have been a boost and have filled a gap in household revenues.

Soil and water conservation management is part of the SDF-funded Sustainable Land Management Project launched in November 2021 in Borama, Awdal region. The project will provide improved food security and income to 20,000 agro-pastoralists in the project area through rehabilitating 10,000 hectares of land, making it more fertile and capable of supporting both agricultural and pastoral activities for a longer period.

Technical skills are empowering

big moment in Abokor Mohamed's career came last year when he and six members of SHABA’s technical team participated in an on-the-job training on steel tank installation by Rhino International. SHABA, a private operator, has been managing the Borama water supply services since 2003 as a PPP with the Ministry of Water Resource Development (MoWRD). Under the SDF2-funded Borama water project at the MoWRD, Rhino, an Australian company, was contracted to supply and install two 500,000 litre steel tanks and conduct on-the-job training for SHABA’s technical department.

As a result of the training and other support, SHABA will no longer need to hire international experts to do similar jobs. The technicians will be a great asset for Borama's water system and are also willing to offer their expertise to other water utilities in the country as the need arises.

Abokor Mohamed, 25, left school at an early age and became a water technician to support his extended family. He is now working as a technician for SHABA, a public-private partnership with the MoWRD that manages Borama water. For the last six years, he has been involved in water distribution initiatives in Borama town for SHABA.

"I was unsure how we would assemble these two large tanks at the beginning, but with on-the-job assistance from Rhino experts, we began to install the first tank. On the first two days, they showed us the foundations, and in the next five days, we gained the confidence to complete the first tank in seven days. The second tank was even easier to install and was completed in six days" - says Abokor with confidence.

DJI 0016 

Abokor Ahmed has positive thoughts towards his career and is looking forward to offering this to other water utilities in the country. He also inspires the youth of his age to shift gears and learn technical skills to go a long way. “The project has helped me gain knowledge and skills to strengthen my position in the department.”

With water and grass, drought can be mitigated

In Togdheer, the majority of a pastoralist’s life depends on livestock rearing and rainfall for livestock pasture. However, recurrent seasons of low rainfall have resulted in prolonged drought, the depletion of grazing land and animal deaths. That's why Aroori Livestock Holding Ground (LHG) was rehabilitated under the first phase of the Somaliland Development Fund (SDF) 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 shallow wells and two boreholes for pastoral communities in Aroori.


"Local shallow wells dried up in the locations I visited, and the price of water increased. I lost 90 goats since I couldn't afford to buy water for my livestock. I decided to relocate here a few days ago from Hara-dada Gubato Hill, 120 kilometers from Aroori. I am so happy to finally be able to settle near Aroori and provide for my family and animals” - Mohamed Hersi


Sahra Ahmed, 38, mother of seven, used to reside 5km from Aroori. She lost 40 goats due to the looming drought. She also had to relocate multiple times in order to feed her livestock, before settling near the livestock holding ground. It has saved her livestock and family.

In February 2022, great news came when the governor of Togdheer, Mohamed Abdilahi, reopened the Aroori Livestock Holding Ground. The pastoralists from Togdheer and even beyond are now benefiting from this grazing land. The grazing land has helped in saving millions of livestock and impacts the many human lives that rely on the meat, milk, and revenue generated from them during this critical time. Nowadays, grunts of camels and bleats of goats are regular sounds heard before entering Aroori Livestock Holding Ground.


“Pastoralists came from as far as the Somali region in Ethiopia. There are close to 1 million goats and sheep, as well as 17,500 camels, grazing here right now. We also have a veterinary team that is constantly performing livestock treatment activities” - Abdi Weli, LHG manager in an interview with SAAB TV.

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.

Closer Access to Water Empowers Communities in Aburin

Abdi Hashi, 53, agro-pastoralist, lives in Laalayska, a village in the Maroodijeh Upper Catchment area, about 24 km west of Somaliland’s capital, Hargeisa. His home, a small hut, is located at the bottom of a hill on rough terrain overlooking the dry agricultural land of Mahbuubta area. Lack of water has turned the surrounding trees black and the soil dry. Rain has been sporadic over the recent years and the area is now experiencing a drought. Over the past years, persistent water scarcity, recurrent droughts and soil erosion have led to poor harvests from farms and killed many of the livestock he owned. Due to soil erosion and overgrazing, the little uncultivated land available has gradually turned into rough terrain and gullies formed in the eroded parts.

Roads Development Agency and Hargeisa Water Agency host SDF donors on a maiden visit to Road and Water Projects in Somaliland

Hargeisa, Somaliland. On 9 June 2015 – a delegation from the Government of Somaliland (GoSL) accompanied by the Somaliland Development Fund (SDF) donors visited the Roads Development Agency (RDA) laboratory to see the equipment funded by the SDF. Later on, the delegation visited Hargeisa Water Agency (HWA) pipe storage facility where recently imported pipes for Hargeisa Urban Water Supply Upgrading Project pipes have been stored. The purpose of the visit was to provide the GoSL and the donors with an opportunity to see recently supplied modern laboratory in RDA as well as the recently arrived 371 container loads with 3,696 pieces of 600mm ductile pipes (slightly over 21km) meant for use in the upgrading of the Hargeisa Urban Water main water pipeline. An additional 124 containers with pipes, valves and fittings are expected during the coming month.  Both laboratory equipment and the pipes are funded by the SDF.

Ministry of Agriculture hosts SDF donors

A delegation of donors contributing to the Somaliland Development Fund (SDF) accompanied the Government of Somaliland officials on the first joint meeting to the SDF funded projects. The visit was conducted on 2 March 2015 to the Ministry of Agriculture’s (MoA) Maroodijeh Upper Catchment (MUC) Soil and Water Conservation project which is located in Faraweyne district. The donor delegation included three representatives from DANIDA, two representatives from DFID and three representatives from the Kingdom of Netherlands, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, whilst the government of Somaliland was represented by the Minister of National Planning and Development Dr. Sa’ad Ali Shire, Director General, Ministry of Agriculture, Eng. Abdullahi Ismail Farah, Mayor of Faraweyne district and a host of other MoA officials at the national and district level. The objective of the visit was to provide the donors with a first-hand opportunity to learn on the progress made by the SDF and the Agriculture project in particular.