Pre-eviction Assessment: Darwish IDP settlements, Mogadishu, Somalia - July 2015

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Background and Executive Summary

The Darwish IDP settlement is located in Howl-wadag District in Mogadishu close to the Parliament building as shown on the map 1.The settlement has been home to approximately 3000 households. 58% of the residents have lived in the settlement for 5 years. Forced evictions remain a major protection concern for IDPs in the Darwish settlement in particular mostly due to its proximity to the Parliament building. The settlement has been faced with several eviction threats and presently faces a high risk of eviction. This assessment identifies the needs of the IDPs and communities at risk of forced eviction and informs the advocacy and responses based on intentions and decisions of the IDPs.

IDP settlement

Mogadishu’s IDPs continue to be the most exposed to forced evictions in Somalia or the risk thereof. The Pre-eviction assessment serves to inform a lawful eviction process, respective advocacy and humanitarian response. In response to the imminent eviction threat at Darwish IDP settlement, a pre-eviction assessment was conducted in support of authorities, represented by the National Commission for Refugees and IDPs (NCRI) under the overall coordination of the Somalia Protection Cluster with NRC as operational lead agency. Save the Children, Mercy Corps, Danish Refugee Council, Action Contre la Faim (ACF-International) and Concern Worldwide participated in the assessment.

The information gathered contained eviction related information, preparedness measures taken, intentions in case of eviction, shelter and livelihood situation and assistance needs in case of eviction. The main findings are the following:

  • The IDPs at risk of forced evictions did not receive a written notice from the government. 78% of the respondents were made aware of the eviction threat through media and other IDPs within the settlement.

  • Protection against forced eviction providing procedural guarantees or due process is an immediate need. Application of the eviction guidelines, with an emphasis on the meaningful participation of IDPs, provision of adequate time for preparation, as well as the need to ensure security of tenure in an alternative settlement, are priorities.

  • 75% of the households were female headed while 20% were male headed.90% of female headed households were dependent on day labour in the host community to ensure an income for their family. This livelihood option would be disrupted in case of eviction. 5 % are child-headed households.

  • The majority of the respondents originate from Lower and Middle Shabelle (40.4% and 30.4% respectively). 48% of the respondents were displaced during the 2011 drought. 35% expressed their willingness to return to their places of origin.

  • Some residents expressed fears over the presence of police settling among them (reportedly due to lack of affordable housing and the fact that Darwish is public land).

According to the respondents, 65% received humanitarian assistance during their stay in the settlement, especially food security support and NFIs. However, humanitarian needs remain:

  • WASH: The most common source of drinking water was communal access to piped water with one tap within the settlement. The IDPs collectively collected money for the pipe extension and each 20 liter jerry can is obtained at 1000 Somali shillings. IDPs use communal toilets which are almost filled. 20HHs share one communal latrine and IDPs contribute 10USD to reconstruct the latrines.

  • Health and disability: 7% of the respondents reported to have ill family members. Among them are 4% with chronic illness and 12% with disability. Only 45% of the IDPs are aware of where to obtain free medical support.

  • Protection: 100% of the respondents lacked secure land tenure and did not possess any land titles or agreements to support their occupancy. Land tenure therefore on an alternative site for settlement is a priority to avoid secondary forced evictions.