Cash-for-work helps get Ibrahim through 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.
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."
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.