As a contribution towards resolving the water crisis in Somalia, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation held a conference in Djibouti on 26 January 2012, under the theme of “Water for Life”.
This conference was held as a follow up on a Cairo conference held on 5th October 2011, which constituted a campaign to mobilize the efforts of civil society institutions in the member states in favor of an effective contribution towards resolving the crisis of dirking water for Somalia.
In an address delivered to the meeting, on behalf of OIC Secretary General, Prof. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, Amb. Atta El Manane Bakhity Assistant Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs , evoked the efforts undertaken by the OIC to assist Somali people in the face of the complex humanitarian calamity gripping their country. Al-Manan paid tribute for the significant efforts put in by Islamic Humanitarian Organizations and the members of the OIC alliance for the relief of Somalia whose efforts have, with the Grace of Allah, been instrumental in alleviating the humanitarian catastrophe in the areas of health, food and housing . He went on to add that the Water Conference constitutes the start of new a stage in dealing with the humanitarian situation in Somalia, with the aim of effecting a shift from the stage of relief to that of rehabilitation. Amb. El-Manane closed his remarks with an expression of thanks to the donors who contributed to the success of the OIC humanitarian programs in Somalia.
This was followed by a statement delivered by Dr. Hamed Abdi Sultan, Minister of Endowments and Islamic Affairs, as a representative of the Government of the Republic of Djibouti, in which the paid tribute to the efforts undertaken by the OIC and its partners among civil society institutions, to help the Somali people in the face of the disaster they are enduring. The minister stressed his Government’s keen interest in ensuring the success the OIC’s humanitarian efforts in Somalia so that these are efforts may offer a model of Islamic joint action in the humanitarian field. The minister also requested, on behalf of his country, that the OIC’s action may be extended to other areas such as health, education, farming and pasture so as to help rebuild the Somali society which has been disintegrated due a dragging conflict.
It is worth noting that the Djibouti conference which brought together more than twenty civil society institutions from OIC member states aims at coordinating efforts so as to set in motion the project for water provision, with pledges from Member states civil society institutions having climbed to a level whereby 650 wells are envisaged to be drilled at a total cost of around 82 million US Dollars. This project is the largest in Somalia’s history for the supply of dirking water.