Residents of Wadajir will no longer have to travel across the Kenyan border to fetch water, following the construction of the village’s first well.
Wadajir, 130 km south of Elwak in Somalia’s Gedo region, has suffered from a severe and prolonged water crisis that has forced many pastoralists to move away in search of water.
General Service Agency (GSA), a Somalia-based NGO, drilled the well as part of a project funded by Norway.
Previously, the nearest source of water was in neighbouring Kenya just four km away. People struggled to access travel documents to cross the border. If they succeeded, they bought a barrel of water for 2,000 Kenya shillings (roughly $24).
“The border is sometimes closed due to security reasons, so people were forced to leave the village. But with the well the need [to cross the border] is no longer there,” said Mohamed Hilowle, a local resident, who spoke to Radio Ergo’s local reporter.
Area chief Abdikhayr Farah said locals were very happy that they now had access to clean water in their village.
“There are about 500 families living in this village. Several months ago, two children died due to the scarcity of water here,” he said.