(ERGO) – Hawo Matan Afi, a mother of five living in Bajela, in central Somalia’s Hobyo district, invested the money she received from a nationwide humanitarian fund to establish a new source of livelihood for her family, after they lost all their livestock due to drought.
Hawo, who used to support her children from her herd of 100 goats in the village, said she was back on her feet again after two years depending on relatives and handouts in the town, 95 km from Hobyo.
“I was a destitute mother who couldn’t even afford to buy a kilo of sugar for her children. But today, I am confident I can buy what I need for my children,” she said. “I can now ask for credit from the shops because I have a stable source of income. Before, no one would give me a loan.”
Hawo is among more than 20,000 families in Galmudug state who have received cash under the Baxnaano project, a Somali government-led programme supporting poor and vulnerable households affected by crises such as drought and locust invasions. It is funded by loans from the World Bank.
She received $480 in two instalments. She used part of the first transfer in September 2020 to rent a house at $20 a month enabling them to move out of a relative’s home. She invested the rest in a shop and restaurant to become self-sufficient again.
“I started in April with a small shop using food items I took from local shops. When I received the second installment of $240, I expanded my business,” she said. She is now making around $10 a day in profit and paying for her children’s education.
Another recipient of cash, Ikran Mohamed Hussein, started a small tea shop in Bajela. She makes enough to pay for the education of her three children as well as house rent. Ikran and her family were displaced in 2017and fled to the town after losing their livestock in the rural areas to drought.
Baxnaano’s Galmudug coordinator, Asma Said Ali, said cash grants had already been delivered to 70 per cent of the targeted 28,099 families in the regional state. They are mostly drought-stricken pastoralists in Hobyo, Abudwaq and Dhusamareb districts.