(ERGO) – Ibrahim Lugbur Adan, a displaced father of seven, is happy to have been hired as a farmhand in Baidoa by one of the local farm owners striving to revive agricultural production following the recent damaging floods.
Ibrahim, a displaced pastoralist living in an IDP camp outside Baidoa, is working on a three-hectare farm, planting seeds and protecting them from animals. His income supports his wife and children.
“I’m earning $5 a day and it’s enough for us. I am very happy with my job since we are getting three meals in a day. I will not give up my job for another,” he declared.
This is the first job he has had since joining Bula-dooy IDP camp in 2022, after losing their 200 goats and 30 camels to devastating drought in Awdinle, Bay region.
Despite his background in pastoralism, Ibrahim worked on farms in his childhood. He was selected to work on the farm because of this experience.
Working 10 hours a day, he noted that the pay is little, although he is motivated by being able to pay for his family meals without begging from neighbours or waiting for occasional aid handouts.
“My children have benefited, their faces don’t look undernourished, they look better now,” he said.
He has also managed to pay off a $50 debt the family took from a local food store.
The farmers’ association in Baidoa says 110 men living in three different IDP camps including Bula-dooy and Deg-umurku camps have been recruited by local farmers to help them recover their farms.
Ahmed Yusuf Mohamed started working on a farm in December and is earning $4-5 a day that has reduced his worries about getting three meals for his wife and six children.
“Our lives have improved because I’m earning some income. We get food and we are happy. We hope that there will be more job opportunities because it is a good job,” he said.
Ahmed used to take odd jobs in Baidoa to support his family, coming home with $2-3 if he found work, or nothing at all. They joined Deg-umurku camp in 2017 after losing 96 cows to unrelenting drought in Dinsor, Bay region, where their own three-hectare farm also failed.
Now that he has an income, he hopes to enroll two of his children in a local school and pay off a $460 loan he took from local businessmen for food.
One of the farm owners in Baidoa who have given jobs opportunities to people from the IDP camps is Mustaf Mohamed Ishaq, who owns two farms. He has employed eight workers to revive the land after the damage wreaked by the recent floods.
He noted that the main reason he employed these workers was because he knew about the hardships in the sprawling IDP camps.
“These people have fled drought and conflict; they have lost their livestock. We decided to create job opportunities for them so they can take care of themselves. We have done that much, although this year we ourselves suffered losses and we lost most of our crops,” Mustaf said.