Hargeisa-“We have undertaken commendable efforts in the overall tasks in drought relief assistance for the affected and at the same time we have rehabilitation plans for them”, revealed the Somaliland Red Crescent Chairman Mr. Ahmed Abdi Bakal during an interview.
Mr. Bakal, who spoke to Mohamoud Walaaleye, stated that his society was undertaking different projects of uplifting livelihoods of the people. Below are some excerpts of the interview.
Q- Give us brief information on tasks SRCS offered drought affected populace and different regions covered.
A: Red Cross Somaliland, is a non-governmental organization, and has presence throughout all the regions. The drought has affected both Western and Eastern regions, but suffering the brun of the famine are mainly those residing in Awdal and Marodi-jeh regions. Red Cross ongoing projects has been designed to assist the needy, and are operating mobile health clinics in some areas and others improving their livelihood.
Our society acted positively in the wake of drought and appealed to international organizations to fund project designed to alleviate its hardship. Luckily, a one year duration project was principally agreed to fund, through Germany Red Cross. Project has different features, like health which channeled through Finish Red Cross, and now distributing needed water.
Moreover, as for Eastern regions’, we are partnering ICRC, and coming days starting distributing food to affected areas. Other plans include constructing water reservoir or digging wells. Registration of people started, and we marked certain areas a priority to offer water and other projects. Now we are covering two Eastern regions Sool and Sanaag, hardest hit, while Togdheer and Sahil being postponed in the meantime.
Q- Tell us incidences or number of people dying due to drought, and how you responded.
- We provided mobile health units and ambulances.
We persuaded German Red Cross to provide credit fund to begin our work rendering help to the affected populace. Adwal Governor Mr. Ramah, who admired the society’s services, further requested us to shoulder responsibility of running feeding centers as most of people unable to feed themselves or cook their meals.
Affected populace lost everything, and their need will be even more dire.
Our projects are designed with different angles of intervention to the needy people, like when raining starts most people won’t able to dig their lands, so we have limited hours to help lowest income families digging their farms by tractors, similarly, we prepared limited families to offer three month food ratio.
Q.What are Important projects SRCS undertake?
- Three years duration, Hunger alleviation project, where Iran Red Crescent funds include, covering parts of Sool region and Marodi-jeh, where implementing organization preferred. Another two projects intended improved livelihood, where Germany Red Cross executes is ongoing throughout regions, were construction of water reservoirs, chicken rearing, and bee-keeping include. Every region, four areas will be implemented by collaborating community group in the areas, when trained.
There are projects ongoing now in Sanaag region, while others planned are to in commence April. SRCS always undertakes what people need.
When asked, if populace directly submit proposal or whether Red Cross has another implementing formula, Chairman, Mr. Bakal replied, “Funding organization can’t accept traditional ways of submitting proposals, but only through community workers’ implementation. First, we undertake assessment survey, and latter choose hardest affected areas, and correct intervention needed, after consultation with community workers.
Q .Lastly on obstacles faced
- In fact, obstacles are countless, because every need arising has its repercussion and needs to be dealt with. Moreover, we face difficulties when releasing project funds is delayed. For instance some of our workers have not been paid their salaries for the past three months. Stringent measures on banking transactions and transmissions to the region especially as concerns humanitarian funds has been an impediment hence I appeal for the easing of the bottlenecks so as to fulfill our responsibility of assisting needy populace at needy times more swiftly.