Somalia Shelter Sector Review: Shelter Cluster Final Report, Rapid Shelter Assessment Somalia, Somaliland & Puntland - December 2012




Somalia is facing one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world today. Since the fall of the Siad Barre regime in 1991, Somalia fell for a long time into protracted civil wars, with ruling militia dividing populations along clan lines. The political landscape of Somalia has been one highly fragmented between dominant clans, dozens of armed movements, the increasing presence of warlords and a rising radical Islamic movement. Intrastate conflicts between rival clans, between Somalia and breakaway Republic Somaliland, followed by increasing factions with the self-declared semi-autonomous region of Puntland, have defined the country’s divisions in recent years. Interstate conflicts with Kenya and Ethiopia have also caused mass causalities, population displacement and insecurity in Somalia over the past two decades.

Over the years, ongoing conflict and climatic shocks in Somalia have generated the third highest number of refugees in the world, after Iraq and Afghanistan. As of 9 th August 2012, 1,011,204 Somali refugees were counted in the region, most of whom being hosted in Kenya, Yemen, Egypt, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Tanzania and Uganda. Moreover, in 2012 almost 1.5 million Somalis are internally displaced, mainly in the south-central region. New internally displaced persons (IDPs) mix with displaced populations from 15 years previous and a population of urbanized poor following 20 years of conflict. Usually, Somali IDPs do not plan to return to their place of origin due to conflict and poor livelihood opportunities. They stay settled in and around main cities, living in makeshifts shelters that mainly not offer basic security and dignity requirements. In the longer-term, they become urban poor increasing the demand for improved shelter solutions.

The displacement of people as a result of protracted conflict coupled with insecurity and recurrent critical climatic shocks in Somalia results in a continued need for the humanitarian community to support the distribution of NFIs, the provision of shelters and camps management. Subsequently, shelter remains a major humanitarian issue and priority concern within Somalia in general; as hundreds of thousands of IDPs abide, often for years in makeshift shelters using available materials which are inadequate for shelter such as canvas or plastic sheeting in areas without adequate access to basic humanitarian services.

The purpose of REACH deployment in Somalia and this assessment was to inform humanitarian decision-making and coordination in relation to shelter. Household level surveys were undertaken to verify and provide additional detail (particularly in terms of technical assessments) to information that had been collected through various government agencies and international organizations.