Somali women in Galgadud help families fleeing Ethiopia’s Somali region

Keyd Ergo/Dad raashin gargaar ah loo qeybiyey.

(ERGO) – A local mother in Somalia’s Galgadud region is mobilizing small financial contributions from local people and other displaced people already settled in Abudwaq town to support hundreds of refugees fleeing from violence in neighbouring Ethiopia.

With the help of 60 women from the host community and IDP camps, Anab Abdi Ali from the local community in Abudwaq town has launched a campaign to ensure the new arrivals are given a small amount of cash, and food and utensils.

“We ourselves came to these camps to witness the situation, I know how desperate a person can be, so we came up with this idea to help them,” Anab told Radio Ergo. “We have set no limit, a person can contribute any amount based on their ability.”

The initiative launched in September, has so far helped 460 people displaced by from Ethiopia’s Somali region. Anab and other volunteers have distributed utensils and food including flour, rice and sugar.

“We distribute food and other available items based on the size of the family,” said Anab, who is the head of Mahad-Alle camp.

Anab noted that the group had collected $1,300 in cash donations.

“We spent $400 to buy plastic sheeting for shelters, while the rest was given to men who had left their families behind in Ethiopia to transport them to Abudwaq,” Anab said.

Muhibo Osman, who lives in Mahad-Alle camp, volunteers with Anab’s team. She approves of the idea of self-reliance.

“These displaced people are desperate, I know because I have had a similar experience. The closest people who can help them are their fellow IDPs and people of this town. We receive any items as donations such as shoes, Dira’a [common Somali women’s dress], Ma’awiis [sarong] and everything else. This has helped us to reach everybody including men, women and children,” she explained.

On 26 November, youth from the town gave seven sacks of sugar, rice and flour.

Qureisha Fod, a mother of 10, who fled her home in Tuli-Guleid village in Ethiopia after Somali-Oromo conflict erupted in September, is living in Mahad-Alle camp. It took her seven days to reach Abudwaq. She was grateful to receive help from Anab’s group on arrival.

“We had nothing to eat when I came but now we can eat twice a day thanks to our fellow sisters and the host community,” she said.


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