Somalia Resilience Program: Una Village, Reaping Success from Water

World Vision Somalia’s Country Director, Simon Nyabwengi, Operations Director, Kevin Mackey, and Southern Operations Manager, Napoleon Phiri recently visited the Somalia Resilience Program (SomReP) DANIDA-supported resilience program in Una village located in Gedo region, Jubaland. SomReP implementing partner DRC and COOPI joined the World Vision monitoring team.  

The teams visited a DRC-managed water supply project which aims to support 145 households through the rehabilitation of one shallow well, construction of a second shallow well and an elevated water tower.  The water supply will allow farmers to cultivate both rainy season and dry season crops and provide fresh drinking water which the community can use for home consumption and to sell.  A diesel generator will be installed to pump the water from the shallow wells into the elevated tank and water will be fed inland through a drip irrigation system, bringing six hectares of land under cultivation and connecting to a canal developed under a previous year of SomReP programming. The water supply is a big resource for the Una community and careful planning and management of the system will be key to promote sustainability and ensure that the project does not trigger resource competition.  In order to ensure local governance systems are in place, SomReP has promoted the creation of a community-level water user committee.

The committee has learned important skills such as conflict identification and resolution and financial management, equipping village leadership with the ability to steward the resource to the benefit the wider community, and putting in place mechanisms to ensure maintenance of the system over time.  World Vision’s Country Director, Simon Nyabwengi asked water committee member, Abdiya Farah Hule how the project was changing her life.  Mrs. Abdiya Farah Hule noted, “if the project works at 100%, I will move from providing food to my family over only six months of the year to providing fresh vegetables to my family for the whole year.” 

The team also visited the riverine farms to assess mitigation measures put in place in anticipation of El-Nino flooding. SomReP teams had worked closely with the local administrations and community-level committees to spread the word about potential flooding expected from the El Nino season.  Farmers were provided mitigation options, such as moving important farming infrastructure such as irrigation pumps to higher ground to planting water resistant grass instead of food crops to help reduce the impact of the expected floods.  Planting Napier, or Rhodesian grass, is an innovative pilot which will allow farmers to reap fodder from flooded fields, allowing the destructive force of El Nino to yield a benefit which will help farmers in the expected harsh dry season.  A young framer, Abdirahman Abdi Shakur noted they will use the Napier grass to help them feed their animals during the upcoming dry season, “We have planted this grass in our flooded fields and we hope it will provide us fodder for our animals during the dry season.”