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.