Islamic Relief is expanding a successful project which is restoring livelihoods for flood-prone communities in Somalia.
The scheme, which is funded by the World Food Programme (WFP), serves communities in Balcad district of Middle Shabelle. The area is famous for agriculture, livestock and marine resources, but is prone to flash floods that devastate poor communities and livelihoods.
Floodwaters have wiped out crops, damaged farms and grain stores. Damaged roads restrict access to basic services such as schools, water points and health clinics. Many families have been uprooted from their homes: Balcad is home to 15,000 internally displaced people.
Through the project, Islamic Relief is giving poor people the support they need to earn a decent living and to improve their long-term food security.
Over 900 people have so far benefited. Some 100 men and 100 women received vocational training to enable them to earn a living from cooking, carpentry, and installing electricity.
Three kilometres of damaged roads were fixed, giving communities better access to essential services, and eight kilometres of canals repaired so they could irrigate farmland once more.
“Before the support of Islamic Relief, our living conditions were not good and there was no farming at all in our village,” said father-of-four Abdulkadir Yusuf Mohamed, 60. The farmer has been unable to work for more than a year after his irrigation machines broke, and he was unable to pay for repairs.
“Islamic Relief gave [the community their] hope back and encouraged them to re-start farming. Now, we are so happy and we will harvest more crops this year.”
Communities were engaged in managing and maintaining their new assets into the future, and already the local market has seen a boost as trade has increased.
Last month, the second phase of the project began. It will see a further 12 kilometres of canals repaired, helping even more families to improve their income. Islamic Relief is also to construct flood barrier protection along the River Shabelle, to prevent it bursting its banks during the next downpour.
Islamic Relief began working in Somalia in 2006, and now provides life-saving humanitarian aid as well as transformative development in the country.
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