UN Migration Agency, African Development Bank Work to Improve Water and Sanitation Services in Rural Somalia

Mogadishu – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, last week (06-07/12) held a technical workshop funded by the African Development Bank (AfDB) to facilitate the implementation of a new project to improve access to water and sanitation services in rural areas of Somalia. Held in collaboration with the Federal Government of Somalia, the three-year project aims to reduce infant and child mortality caused by water borne diseases.

Nearly 6.2 million people need humanitarian assistance in Somalia, due to the failure of consecutive rainy seasons and an ongoing conflict. The dire humanitarian situation has led to massive displacement and disease outbreaks. Many families have been forced to live in congested settlements for internally displaced persons (IDPs), often without basic services.

This project strives to strengthen sustainable water solutions and increase the technical capacity of local administrations to operate and maintain water infrastructure. In line with the New Way of Working, it will address immediate water and sanitation needs while simultaneously building community resilience to withstand future drought and environmental related shocks.

John Sifuma, Water and Sanitation Specialist from AfDB, said: “The Bank is responding to the challenge of supporting inclusive growth, and the transition to green growth, by scaling up investments and implementation of its ten-year strategy by focusing on five priority areas: Light up and power Africa; Feed Africa; Integrate Africa; Industrialize Africa and Improve quality of life for the people of Africa.”

Sifuma added: “The project falls under the fifth priority and is aligned to Somalia’s National Development Plan. The Bank will continue working closely with the Federal Government of Somalia to support implementation of the government’s development agenda.”

Acknowledging the strong collaboration between the government, IOM and AfDB, Somalia’s Minister for Energy and Water Resources Salimo Aloi Ibro said: “The ministry has worked closely with IOM and AfDB since the conceptualization of this project. We were involved in developing the concept note, project appraisals, and creation of all the key project documents. In the future, we are hoping that IOM and AfDB can help us scale up activities in Kismayo, Baidoa, Afgoye and Jowhar – places where the needs on the ground far outstretch available resources.”

IOM Somalia Chief of Mission Dyane Epstein noted: “This project endeavours to improve the quality of life for an estimated 175,000 Somalis. As solutions to sustainable water provision and infrastructure are developed, other socio-economic activities will also flourish. This includes the rearing of livestock, which remains the main source of livelihoods for the majority of this project’s beneficiaries.’’

In 2017, IOM has provided conditional and unconditional food and water to drought-affected people in Somalia. Over 200 million litres of clean and safe water have been supplied to approximately 570,000 people in Somalia through a water voucher mechanism.

IOM is also conducting intensive hygiene and sanitation promotion activities within at-risk communities, having reached an estimated 563,000 people with behavioural change messages between January and October 2017.”

For more information please contact Yuko Tomita, IOM Somalia, Tel: + 254 715 990 600, Email: