People living in vulnerable communities in the Republic of Djibouti are getting help to diversify their sources of income. A US$330,000 project implemented by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and funded by Japan is empowering women in flood-prone communities and helping them to build resilience to natural disasters through diversified livelihoods.
The Republic of Djibouti, a country located in the Horn of Africa, is bordered by Eritrea in the north, Ethiopia in the west and south, and Somalia in the south-east. Successive years of droughts, interspersed with heavy rains causing flash floods, have eroded the coping mechanisms of peasant farmers in Djibouti’s rural regions, while high food prices and unemployment rates afflict the country’s urban areas. All these factors have increased vulnerability to food insecurity and spurred migration.
The area of Balbala, about 12km outside of Djibouti City, has become home to families fleeing both harsh conditions in the countryside and dwindling livelihood opportunities in the city. Women in Balbala have limited opportunities for employment and one of the few options open to them is to buy fresh fish at the Djibouti port and sell them at markets in Einguela near the port and in Balbala itself.
To help these women, UNIDO conducted a dry fish-processing training for fish seller women from 24 October to 23 November 2015. Participants were given training on fish handling skills, drying and salting methods, and packaging. All these were very useful skills, as the women don’t even have ice packs to keep the fish fresh and can now sell the dry fish for a longer period of time. At the end of the training, a Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) volunteer provided the participants with a demonstration of how to cook the dry fish.
One of the trainees, Nima Djibril Moussa, a 52-year old who works at the Balbala market, said the 14-day training on dry fish processing had “given me the chance to learn new skills which will definitely help me make more money from my selling”. Another trainee, Fatouma Ibrahim, from the Einguela market, noted that the training gave her new skills and knowledge about hygiene practice and fish preservation.
Aboubaker-Sadik Ahmed, Director of Industry, Ministry of Economy and Finance, commented, “I truly appreciate the contributions made by the Government of Japan and UNIDO to improve income-generating opportunities for women in Djibouti city through the provision of dry fish processing training."
In addition to providing dry fish training, the project also provided training on outboard motor maintenance and the use of fishing equipment, in partnership with Yamaha Motor, to help others involved in fishing. Participants learned how to operate and maintain Yamaha outboard motors, as well as how to utilize a portable GPS and a fish finder, an instrument used to locate fish underwater by detecting reflected pulses of sound energy (sonar). A total of around 250 people benefited from the project training.
By Dorra Berrebeh
For more information please contact:
Khaled El Mekwad
UNIDO Representative to Djibouti
UNIDO Project Manager