Home IDPS/REFUGEES New goats lead dispossessed Somali pastoralists out of IDP camps in Lower...

New goats lead dispossessed Somali pastoralists out of IDP camps in Lower Shabelle

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File Photo/Ergo

(ERGO) – When Halimo Adawe Abikar was given five goats on 6 March, she envisaged a way out of the miserable internal displacement camp, where she and her formerly pastoralist family have lived for 10 years.

“I will start a new life out of this IDP camp once my goats increase in number!” said Halimo excitedly, having received one male and four female goats as part of a restocking project run by local organisation, Juba Foundation.

Halimo was among the 170 families living in IDP camps in Marka, Barawe, and Qoryoley who received livestock to enable them to return to their former livelihood. A mother of two, Halimo moved to Ceeljalle camp in 2011 after her family lost their entire herd of 160 goats and 20 cows to drought in their village of Sinai in Marka.

In the IDP camp, they had depended on her own and her husband’s casual daily wage jobs. She hopes by building up a new herd of livestock their outlook will change for the better.

A neighbour’s children take her goats out to graze along with their own, as her own children are too young to assist. She buys grass to supplement the goats’ grazing.

“We are in the dry season and there is not enough pasture for the livestock. It is not easy, but we will be patient,” Halimo told Radio Ergo.

Yarow Mohamed Abdi, the project coordinator, said Juba Foundation had assessed the situation of families in the camps in collaboration with the Lower Shabelle regional administration and community elders. By May 2021, they will have given out 1,700 goats to a total of 340 families.

“Our objective is to see these IDPs slowly returning to their pastoralist life,” he said. The initiative is funded by international NGO, Mercy Corps.

Yarow said three of the families had sold the goats they received due to their extreme need.

“Some of the families need food urgently and they don’t have money so they sell whatever they can to buy food,” he said.

Bashir Abdikarim Mamow, a father of five, has been living Ceeljalle camp since losing his five cows in the 2017 drought in Ceelcadow in Marka. He is now planning to move the family back home after the expected ‘gu rainfall. He plans to raise the goats he received and plant sorghum and beans on his half-hectare rain-fed farm.

For now, his 17-year-old daughter tends the goats and takes them for grazing near the camp.

The livestock distribution was accompanied by a 30-day training in veterinary skills of 30 youth living in the areas where the animals were distributed. They were taught basic skills in animal care and treatment.

According to Yarow, the community veterinary training is aimed at helping the pastoralists to maintain healthy herds, as well as creating employment in these areas.

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