FAO emergencies and resilience

Somalia: Building resilience and promoting durable solutions in Lower Shabelle

The European Union Pro-resilience Action (ProAct) programme aims to substantially increase the resilience of vulnerable people’s livelihoods to food crises by addressing key underlying causes of vulnerability in Lower Shabelle, within Somalia’s breadbasket. The area faces recurrent drought, flooding, non-functioning irrigation infrastructure, widespread insecurity and access challenges that impede farmers’ production, related supply chains and market potential. In light of recent, recurrent drought and flood emergencies, the main vulnerability addressed by ProAct centres on water: primarily water access, management and its productive use. 

As part of the ProAct programme, FAO, with the support of the European Union, implemented a project that has resulted in the rehabilitation of 24 ancillary structures (intakes, bridges, foot and vehicle canal crossings, and culverts) at the Cessare Maria, Dhame Yassin, El-Shiikhaal, Shalambood and Dhame Yasin canals. It has also improved village connections by providing safe, year-round access to farms, markets, schools, and health care via 24 crossing structures rehabilitated in command areas. Five existing water committees have also been strengthened and endorsed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation, Southwest State, Somalia.

FAO also conducted technical training on water management, public asset management and water resource conflict management for ministry officials who also trained the five irrigation management committees. This was done in the last quarter of 2020. The project also provided 800 households with empty bags (sacks) to store their produce. 

“Previously, we had no access to the canals, but now FAO has constructed roads and bridges through which we can have a better access to our farmers. Through this, we can now bring our produce from the farms by using either vehicles or donkey carts,” said Gedow Arabow, a farmer in Shalnabood, Marka, Somalia.

See KORE learning brief on this project.