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Speaking to Abdulkadir Ali Hashi the Chairman of the WASH committee of Hanta Biyaha village in Kismayu District, one cannot help but admire his strong willed dedication to ensure that members of his village are well served with water services – a vital yet often lacking service in most parts of Somalia. Mr. Hashi has lived in Hanta Biyaha for the bulk of his adult life, having come from Dadaab Refugee Camp in the mid-nineties as a thirty nine year old, when the Kenyan Government first attempted to relocate refugees from the camp. Hashi is now in his sunset years, and has settled in the village and together with his two wives who have borne him 12 children. Hashi explains vividly to the ADRA team how the cyclical drought always adversely affects members of his village every time it hits. “It is always a forlorn period”, he explains, as he struggles to hide his emotions. “I have seen many people not only losing their livelihoods, but lives being wiped away altogether”, he adds, with a sad look drawn on his previously gleaming veneer. Hanta Biyaha is one of 15 villages that have been selected as beneficiaries of the Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) and water system installation that is funded by UNICEF, co-funded by ADRA Swiss and is being implemented by ADRA Somalia in Kismayu District. Hashi could not hide his joy upon learning that his village was a target of this intervention. “Thank you for this pleasant surprise, my village thanks you immensely”, he quips, and promptly goes to call a WASH committee meeting to break the news.
The Head-Teacher of Bar Alen Primary School in Kismayu Mr. Jama Nur comes across as being strict and quite literally hawkish. His monitoring of school activities even as we interview him is impeccable, moving from class to class to confirm that lessons are ongoing. Being one of the best performing IDP schools in the district, Jama does not leave anything to chance. “Finally, some good news!” He shouts, after ADRA’s project officer informs him that his school will benefit from a number of interventions from the UNICEF project, key of which is a piped water system. According to Jama, the school has been in dire need of running water for years, and with a relatively large population of learners, the need for running water took utmost importance. The community education committee of the school have subsequently pledged to provide in-kind support in the form of labor, tools and security, to ensure that the water system is installed successfully and brings major relief and satisfaction to the community. “Your intervention is a timely relief to my school, my CEC and I thank you”, says Jama, and proceeds to meet some students who are preparing for an upcoming debate at a neighboring school.
Hashi and Jama represent a section of beneficiaries who will be targeted by the UNICEF and ADRA Swiss funded Enhanced Access to WASH Services for vulnerable communities in Kismayo district (EAWS) project. The 2 year intervention will among other activities, develop water supply from three areas that produce potable water in Kismayo (Buulo Ablika/Dalxiiska, Calanley and Farjano) and develop distribution infrastructure.