Increasing the resilience of vulnerable communities in Odweyne, Somaliland

“This is my best year as I have enough food for my family and livestock. Last year there was a shortage of rains and so we did not have anything to eat or feed our livestock. World Vision trained us on how to prepare our farms, how to cultivate, how to use manure and how to space our crops. We did all that we were trained and now we have a great harvest. I expect to survive on what we will harvest throughout the year. This year we planted only sorghum but next year we hope to plant maize and beans as well,” 60 year old Aisha Mirdan, Beerato village, Odwenye.

Some of the sorgum head that was harvested by community members in Beerato village, Odweyne

Enhancing resilience in Somaliland communities is a project in Odweyne that is implemented by World Vision through funding from Australia DFAT. This is a SomReP project and it is in its second year of implementation. The project was implemented in Beerato, Ceelsame, Odweyne, Qalcato and Gatitaley villages. The goal of the project is to “increase the resilience of chronically vulnerable pastoral, agro-pastoral and peri-urban communities in Odweyne district.”

Aisha Muhamed, 50 years old affirms the positive practices they have learnt. “We have learnt how to plant, how to do spacing. Before, we were putting so many seeds in one hole and the product was small, but now we learnt how to space and the product is a lot. Before we would get 150kg but now we harvest over 1000kgs. The main change for us is the agricultural practices,” she says.

Hassan Torabi Mohamed, 55 years old invested in part of the land and provided a tractor for cultivation. He also took part on the good agricultural practices. “I got skills on spacing and how to use fertilizers. Before, we would use a lot of fertilizer that would kill the seeds but now we use less fertilizer. We also used to plant so many seeds in one hole and we would get less product but now we use less seeds in a hole and get more products.”

Most of the farmers will store some of the products and sell the surplus. Nothing goes to waste, as the stalks will be used to feed the animals.

The sorghum locally known us Masange  was cultivated communally or individually. For those who cultivated in groups, they were grouped per household. During harvesting each household gave one of their strong family members to come and help in the harvesting. The household that did not have anyone to help in the harvesting paid 5 USD for labour. After harvesting they will divide equally what they will get.

A communit member winnowing threshed sorghum. Everyone in the community was involved in the project

This project has contributed to improved food security at household level ensuring children enjoy good health and are well nourished. The agricultural inputs provided, construction of water harvesting structures and capacity building training contributed to increase in household crop and livestock production and for diversification of income.