Oxfam accomplishes a great deal of our relief and development work, by working through partnerships with local organisations. Through regular training, these organisations are able to build their own capacities, improve their programs and thus help their own communities.
Today – August 19th – is World Humanitarian Day. The United Nations designated it in memory of the bombing of the UN headquarters in Baghdad in 2003 in which 22 people died. It is now the one day of the year when we turn the spotlight on aid workers and celebrate their efforts to help others in the world’s most difficult and dangerous places.
Sustainable Solutions – Supplying water using solar powered pumps in Afgooye
Water is life. In Afgooye town, this couldn’t be more true. Over 20,000 people call this town home but still bear the burden of travelling long distances to buy water at inflated prices. A 20 litre jerrycan of water costs between 1000-2,000 Somali shillings. This is too high a price to pay for most, especially vital institutions like schools could not afford to cater to the thousands of students that filled their classrooms daily.
Community Managed Disaster Risk Management in Ethiopia and Somaliland
The Cross border region of Somaliland and Somali region of Ethiopia is characterized by vulnerability to drought. The increase in the intensity and frequency of drought has resulted in the erosion of household livelihood assets the livestock. This has been further aggravated by restricted cross border mobility and land enclosures hence limiting access to pasture and water as well as markets across the border. The survival of pastoralism in a fragile environment has been heavily dependent on ability to transverse great distance so as to access pasture and water. Drought exacerbated by climate change has increased the poverty level among the cross border communities with some dropping out of pastoralism altogether.
In partnership with Oxfam, Somali Aid responded to the needs by rehabilitating and protecting 12 shallow wells. These were fitted with hand pumps to allow efficient and hygienic retrieval of water.
Eight warnings of catastrophe so far
It took 16 warnings for the international community to respond to the last catastrophe; lessons must be learnt from past to avert another crisis in the Horn of Africa.
On 7 May 2014, 26 agencies asked the world to remember Somalia, where 2.9 million people are living in crisis.At that time, only 12% of Somalia’s humanitarian needs had been funded for 2014. That figure now stands at 27% – and we’re already halfway through the year. In the last few weeks experts have been on the ground assessing what activities are needed where, to pull people out of crisis. Based on their findings, agencies are now asking for action across eight sectors to save lives and avoid a relapse to the catastrophe of 2011.