(ERGO) – Deqo Isse Ali, a mother of five, has been able to reopen her batik clothing shop less than a month after it was destroyed by flash Qardho, in Somalia’s northeastern state of Puntland, thanks to a grant from a local bank.
Deqo was among 70 small businesswomen to receive a cash grant from Amal Bank.
“I’ve lost far more than I’ve received because the floods hit right after I had filled up the store with clothing intended to sell during the Eid celebrations,” she said.
Nevertheless she is happy to be able to restart her business at this difficult time, when people are not buying much and the markets are still not fully open.
“I thank and am grateful to Amal Bank, which has stood by our side whenever we needed support,” said Deqo, who received a grant of $350.
Seytun Mohamed Mohamoud, another small business owner, told Radio Ergo that she lost most of her merchandise in the flooding, but has been able to open with the grant and another loan from other people.
“It took six car-loads to remove the debris in my store after the flooding, but we can’t complain because it’s all God’s will,” she said.
“I don’t know of anyone who has helped as much as Amal Bank. They provided us with a mixture of loans and grants worth $300 before, and when this disaster hit, they came to our aid,” she added.
The management of Amal Bank informed Radio Ergo that the 70 women business-owners who received the disaster recovery grants had all previously been given loans of up $500 by the bank. The bank decided to help the women restart their businesses to enable them to continue paying back their loans in monthly installments.
Thirty of the women lost all their wares in their shops, while the other 40 lost some. The grants ranging from $100 to $400 were based on the extent of the damage suffered.
Yusuf Salad Mohamoud, manager of Amal Bank’s Qardho branch, said they gave out a total of $15,000 to businesswomen.
The torrential rains and flooding that hit Qardho at the end of April killedeight people and affected an estimated 8,000 households. Around 3,500 of these were left homeless.