Supporting livelihoods of vulnerable communities during lean seasons in Somaliland

It’s a hot-humid Tuesday afternoon in Kalwale village, Lughaye District (Awdal region) in Somaliland. The intense heat caused the ground to see the and send up a discomforting haze consequently emitting a mirage of wavering images across the flat coastal horizon. As a result of the heat perspiration would surface on your forehead, your cheeks, the bridge of your nose, and run in rivulets down your face until you became drenched in your own sweat.


Owing to the drought situation in Somalia/Somaliland, food crisis has been worsening following consecutive seasons of poor rainfall and Low River water levels. According to FSNAU, the 2016 Deyr (October-December) rainfall was much below average and poorly distributed across most parts of Somalia. Coupled with low river water levels, this greatly impacted the Deyr season cereal harvest which is estimated at 32,000 tonnes, 70 percent below long-term (1995-2015) average and 75 percent below the five-year average for 2011-2015.


In response to this, READO addressed the food security and lifesaving interventions targeting rural areas in ‘Crisis’ and ‘Emergency’ (IPC Phase 3&4) in Awdal region, Somaliland through conditional cash transfers consequently restoring communal assets through cash for work and enhancing livelihoods that funded by FAO of the United Nations.


“I am very happy because when we got the first payment I was able to buy food, clothes and other necessary things for me and my family” says Adan[1], a father of three and resides in Kalwale village. Adan was one of the beneficiaries of this program and he worked at the water catchment in Kalwale village. The program targeted 5,400 individuals with a goal of improving food access to the most vulnerable. “The needs here were very severe” says Ahmed, READO’s Project Engineer. “Some families had to walk for miles to get clean water and others skipped meals so as to cope with the dire food situation. While embarking in this project I felt a sense of purpose to serve this community and contribute to the alleviation of their suffering”


With the drought situation in Somalia/Somaliland still eminent, Support with direct building resilience, unconditional and conditional cash transfers could secure the survival of the most vulnerable community segments as interventions in agricultural inputs and cash for work restore communal assets and enhances livelihoods.


[1] Name changed because of confidentiality purposes