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.
The delegation paid visits to Mahbuubta, Arro-Muse-Asse and Aaraale villages where the Ministry was in the process of rehabilitation dams and the Aburiin research centre which is in the process of being refurbished by the MoA to become one of the main Somaliland dryland agriculture research centre serving both the Faraweyne and Gabiley area and the rest of Somaliland. During the visit the delegation was able to interact with community members as well as talk to a group of community representatives who are members of a Village Development Committees (VDC) which was undergoing leadership training. The delegation was happy to note that about 40% of the trainees were actually women.
Commenting on the visit at Aburiin centre, on behalf of the other donors, the DANIDA representative, Ms. Kira Smith Sindbjerg remarked that the donors were delighted with the progress being made on the project and thanked the VDC and the people of Aburiin for their warm welcome. She also indicated that the donors will be delighted to visit again when the community was enjoying the benefits of the project.
Speaking on behalf of the government of Somaliland, the Minister of Planning and National Development, Dr Sa’ad Ali Shire urged the community to protect the rehabilitated sites and the environment through sustainable community based conservation initiatives. The Minister remarked that “If you want to stand, the desire should first come from you. Our partners [SDF donors] have generously contributed about 2 million USD towards the implementation of the project. You are very lucky indeed to receive this project. Don’t take it for granted, instead you need to protect and maintain it in the future”, said the Minister.
In the same event, the Mayor of Faraweyne, Faysal Mohamed Jamah, on behalf of the community and local government thanked the donors for their generous contribution towards the project. He also reiterated that the contribution was only going to cover conservation of 30% of the MUC micro catchment and therefore requested the donors if they could consider supporting the community in conserving the remaining 70% of the micro catchment.
SDF is a 4- year fund designed to support the Government of Somaliland (GoSL) in filling critical gaps 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 Embassy. MUC Soil and Water Conservation project is one of the 11 projects currently funded by SDF across Somaliland and are at different stages of implementation. MUC Soil and Water Conservation project aims at improving the rural livelihood of citizens living in the Marodijeh Upper catchment through conservation agriculture.