Light At The End Of The Tunnel : Farming Presents New Possibilities For Former Fisherman
31 th Oct 2016
It’s late afternoon, the sun is low and I can feel the heat off the coast, but the discomfort is worth enduring because I am eager to see the good work Warsame Mohamed and his fellow villagers are doing in Durduri, Sanaag region.
In the past 20 years, there has been a decline in livelihood returns from fishing in this village because international fishing vessels that have illegally encroached into the fishermen’s fishing grounds thereby reducing the locals’ fishing yield. This has forced many local fishermen like Warsame out of the sea, threatening their food security.
When Warsame abandoned fishing, he sought for a new livelihood in farming however, this was hard to sustain. Operating a farm requires money for pesticides, seeds, and farming tools which are really pricey for someone with no steady source of income. Despite this, he was motivated to feed his family and planting edible crops seemed to be the only logical way out of hunger.
In 2014, Warsame learned that Adeso was looking for indigenous and mangrove tree seedlings for a tree planting initiative. The profit that could be made from providing the required seedlings for the initiative interested him to give it a try.
“I started a small nursery with 3 of my friends and within two months, we were able to supply date palm, mangrove and indigenous trees seedlings for the Adeso tree planting initiative.” He said “We have supplied 2,006 seedlings that cost USD 2.5 per seedling. We made a proft of around USD 5,017 from it.” He continues as his face brightens with a satified smile.
This profit has allowed Warsame to buy better tools, seeds for food crops and pesticide for his farm. Two years down the line, his farm has yielded enough harvest for his family’s consumption and to sell in the village market. For his four children, the steady income that Warsame makes from the nursery and the farm means a lot for their future.
“There were times when the farm yield was not good because the farm was pest infested, which reduced crops yield and quality of the harvest. In those days, it was very difficult to make a living from the farm. We lived from hand to mouth and didn’t know where the next meal was going to come from” explains Warsame.
“I have been farming for a while now, and my farm has the potential to supply my family with all the vegetable and fruit we need and the extra I can sell for profit. The nursery is supplying the village’s need of seedlings to plant more trees and mangrove that will improve the environment. It’s a win-win situation for me and the environment” he says.
For the past two years, two Adeso sister projects – a four-year EU-funded ‘Your Environment is Your Life’ project and Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation funded project for coastal habitat restoration have been implementing massive tree planting activities of indigenous trees and restoration of mangroves in Durduri. Both projects aim to alleviate poverty and reduce hunger through improved conditions of the rangeland and promoting sustainable coastal habitat restoration and better farming infrastructure.
A Stitch In Time-Local Heroes Prevent A Crisis.
22 th Sep 2016
“Peace is a journey of a thousand miles, and it must be taken one step at a time.”
Lyndon B. Johnsons
When you first meet Abdikani Farah and Haji Abdi, their wit and friendly banter would not let you in on the responsibility they have voluntarily chosen to shoulder. What brought together a young Clan Chief (Nabaddoon) and a local Imam, is a cause they are both passionate about- to bring peace to their communities.
After the collapse of the Somali Central Government in 1991, some pastoralists began to enclose pasture land to themselves due to the absence of land use regulations. The continued enclosure of pasture land by individual pastoralists has had serious consequences over the years and this escalated during the recent drought, affecting the lives of the same pastoralists and their families.
Even though many agree that this practice is harmful to the pastoralist lifestyle and pastoral livelihoods, not many have stood up to put an end to it, however, only a few like Abdikani and Haji have taken action against it to avoid the inevitable devastating results.
“Pastoralists depend on the pastureland to thrive. They move around in search of green pasture and water for their animals. When a person or a family encloses grazing land, this action incites forced entry of other pastoralists into the land and this is likely to trigger violent confrontation”, explains Haji.
“The worsening conditions of the grazing land and acute drought has reduced the already inadequate pasture. This leads to competition over the limited resources available and increases the risk of conflict between communities,” states Abdikani, the Community Chief.
Abdikani and Haji have coordinated mediation processes for ten cases this year alone. They have also conducted awareness campaigns in over 20 rural and pastoral communities in Sanaag. During these campaigns, they have reached out to community elders in different parts of the region to seek their cooperation to resolve pressing environmental issues, among them pastureland enclosures.
Recognizing the power of the media in mobilizing people and disseminating information, Abdikani and Haji used local newspapers such as Kaaha Bari and local TV stations to publicize the outcome of their community outreach, the agreements that resulted from mediation process and also to share their message of peace with wide audiences in rural and urban settings. This also served to push for action from local authorizes and the government.
“From what I have seen so far, there is no winning side in this madness. It just creates one vicious cycle of conflict where everyone ends up losing.” States Abdikani “What we are doing is trying to make people see that there is an alternative to conflict. If resources are well managed and commonly used, there could be enough to sustain everyone and that abundance starts with peace” he continues.
Earlier this year, Abdikani learned that Adeso has a program that has been working in the rehabilitation of grazing lands and protection of natural resources. The two reached out to Adeso’s natural resource management team for support in coordinating the mediation meetings.
“Thanks to Allah, the team was welcoming of the idea. They even traveled with us and were part of the community outreach and the awareness raising” states Abdikani.
Abdikani and Haji’s journey to establishing peace in their region is their own way of making a difference, a step at a time.
Water at last: Pastoralists in Egag Can Now Breathe Easy
26 th Aug 2016
Pastoralists are known for their seasonal migration, and it’s a typical scene in Somalia to see them journeying with their families and livestock searching after water and pasture. Despite being a typical journey, it’s one that is far from easy, especially during dry seasons. By the time a pastoral family decides to migrate, it has become a matter of survival for them.
From Barren to Productive: Hubera Valley’s Story
09 th Aug 2016
One upon a time Hubera was a fertile valley under Badhan district of Sanaag region in northern Somalia. Historically, the valley was one of the most productive and life-sustaining grazing spots in the region as it hosted thousands of pastoral families. In the rainy season, pastoralists would flock to the valley from all over the region in order to herd their livestock.
Community Ownership in Action
21 th Jul 2016
It goes without saying that raising a community’s awareness on the importance of a healthy and green environment is an integral part of Adeso’s effort to change the story of African communities.