Dhobley, formerly known as Liboi-Somalia is a strategic divisional administration of the Afmadow District located south-western Somalia’s lower juba region and approximately 0.2 KM from the Kenyan border. Dhobley has been a strategic border town for commerce especially animal and essential food commodities to the Kenyan town in addition to the huge numbers of refugees traveling to and from Dadaab that transit in the town. Mainly pastoralists inhibit Dhobley. Decades of conflicts and instability in Southern Somalia, including the absence of a functioning local government capable of providing essential services and no support from a functioning central government, have significantly affected the local population.
The Jubaland administration currently manages Dhobley town, similar to many lower Juba towns, with support from the Kenyan contingent of AMISOM, who have a sizeable military base in Dhobley town. The general security and livelihoods of the local community have improved since the ouster of the Al Shabaab with the help of the Kenyan defense forces. Dhobley town is currently stable.
Through the BRCiS consortium, NRC constructed a community market in Dhobley district. The CRC raised the need of the market during the CAP development. The constructed market has improved the smallscale business, and the building is much better now than the previous market. The small-scale business owners are now running their business in a more dignified place and they are very happy with the construction services provided.
BRCiS is a humanitarian consortium that takes a holistic approach to support Somali communities in developing their capacity to resist and absorb minor shocks without undermining their ability to move out of poverty. Therefore, the community market constructed in Dhobley is one of the activities selected by the communities from the beginning of the project to build a durable solution towards improving the community’s livelihoods and economics.
Fatuma Omar Hassan lives in Dhobley town. She is the mother of six children, Fatumo is one of the small-scale business owners in the town. She sells groceries in the newly constructed market in Dhobley town, and she is the only one sustaining her family. She is very happy to trade in a dignified place and thanked NRC and FCDO for constructing the market.
“Our business has improved, and our lives have also improved. Everything is going well now. We feel safer than before. Initially, the previous building was not good, and it had no strong gate. Thieves used to break in and steal our stock, rainwater trickled from all sides, but now everything looks perfect. We close the doors, and we go home, nothing to worry about. We are trading in a more comfortable and dignified place. Even the number of our customers has increased. I feel that I can support my family much better than before, and I am looking forward to expanding my business.”
Amina Mohamed Ali sells meat in Dhobley market. Her husband is disabled and cannot provide to the family. Therefore, Amina takes the responsibility of supporting her family. She says that the construction of the market and the amenities provided has changed alot from their lives.
“Initially, when the meat wasn’t sold within few hours, it used to be bad, and we couldn’t sell it to anyone. We made losses as butchers because of that. Now we have fridges, which prevents the meat from becoming stale. It is a relief. We can sell more and make more profits. My business is growing as a result of this. In addition, the lighting of the building enables us to sell even at night without worrying about security. We are grateful to NRC, and its donors. I would urge them to continue supporting us.”
About the BRCiS Consortium
The Building Resilient Communities in Somalia (BRCiS) Consortium was created in late 2013. It was founded by a small group of people who had been working in Somalia in 2011 and had seen the famine unfolding before their eyes. The famine took a huge number of lives and pushed Somalis to the limit in their struggle for survival amid one of the world’s longest and deepest crises.
Somalia and the international community had clearly been caught off-guard. As a result, the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, one of the country’s main humanitarian donors, decided that they would change the way they funded aid in Somalia. They committed to multi-year, flexible interventions, supporting the capacity to adapt to change and reduce risks. Thus, the BRCiS story began.
Four years of resilience building in Somalia has taken the BRCiS Consortium on a rich learning journey. The BRCiS approach is based on the principle that resilience programmes must be informed by the people they are designed to serve. We aim to stand by communities during hardships and offer a certain degree of protection, while promoting self-reliance and dignity.
This inclusive approach has led to impactful and sustainable programmes with a high level of community acceptance that address local challenges and deep-rooted vulnerabilities.