UNICEF Somalia Review Dec 1999

Hargeisa Office - Northwest Zone Somalia
General situation

Security: Some 300 militia from 'Puntland' were reported as having tried to take control of two checkpoints to the west and east of Las Anod town resulting in conflict with local forces. In another incident, a hand grenade exploded within the compound of UNDP in Hargeisa.

Political developments: 'Somaliland' President Mohammed Ibrahim Egal visited Burao for the first time since his election as President of 'Somaliland'. President Egal also received a delegation from eastern Sanaag led by the Sultan of the Warsangeli. The delegation and President Egal reached an agreement of co-operation based on the Sanaag region's needs.

The 'Somaliland' administration closed its border with Djibouti. In addition, forces were sent to Borama, Awdal region. The 'Somaliland' Minister of Interior Affairs said that the aim was to strengthen the peace and security in that region.

UNICEF programme: The Annual Review and Planning Workshop for UNICEF in 'Somaliland' was conducted in Hargeisa from 8 to 9 December. This was undertaken jointly with the local administration and other key partners, including local and international organisations.

Economy: During the period, the exchange rate of the 'Somaliland' Shilling was stable between 2,750 û 2,800 to 1 USD.

Programme activity

Health and Nutrition: A five-day orientation-training workshop was conducted in Burao town with 22 participants from health committees attending. The participants benefited from training in community co-management and co-financing systems; communication skills; problem-solving skills; social mobilisation and management of drugs and money at health centres.

Reproductive health: A five-day training course was held in Hargeisa for 10 mid-wives from hospitals and health centres in Galbeed region. The training was sponsored by UNICEF and implemented by Voice of Mid-wife Association (VOMA).

Nutrition: A workshop to review the 'Somaliland' law on marketing of breast-milk substitutes was held in Hargeisa on 19 and 20 December. The Ministries of Health , Education, Information, Interior and the Presidency were represented at the opening of the workshop. Others present were members from the 'Somaliland' House of Elders and the House of Representatives, doctors, lawyers, mid-wives and representatives of international organisations based in Hargeisa. The final version of the law will soon be submitted to the 'Somaliland' cabinet.

UNICEF in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Labour (MOHL) and women's groups conducted a house- to-house breast-feeding promotion campaign in Borama and Burao towns.

Water and Environmental Sanitation (WES): The Sheikh Water Project has finally been completed.

Monitoring visits were made to WES projects in Sheikh, Zeila, Burao, Borama and Sanaag.

Education: UNICEF in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (MOEYS) and other partners started the rehabilitation of some sports grounds. This is part of the Youth, Education, Development and Protection Programme (YEDPP). Three basketball courts were rehabilitated in Hargeisa to cater for the recreational needs of youth. A public library was also rehabilitated. UNICEF intends to equip the library with furniture and books. The library is expected to be operational by March 2000.

UNICEF, in collaboration with the youth department of MOEYS has also constructed volleyball playgrounds in 30 primary schools in the zone. UNICEF intends to help in creation of more play grounds in most primary schools in the zone. In support of youth activities, UNICEF has been providing and distributing a volleyball and net in education kits for schools in the zone.

Translation of the school improvement manual from English to Somali has been completed and illustrations inserted. The translated Somali versions of school and class registers and pupils' cards were edited. UNICEF has been supplying teacher education kits with essential supplies for child-centred learning.

Report launched: The State of the World's Children Report 2000 was launched in Hargeisa during a workshop on the National Breastfeeding Code. The National Organisation for Women (NOW) and UNICEF jointly organised the event. The UNICEF Hargeisa Resident Project Officer, Romanus Mkerenga, gave the gathering an overview of the report and presented copies to the Minister of State for the Presidency, Mr. Jama Salah, who received it on behalf of the 'Somaliland' administration. Copies of the report were also given to dignitaries and local media representatives.

General situation

Jowhar Liaison Office:

Jowhar was relatively calm

Mogadishu Liaison Office

Security: There was marked improvement in security after Islamic Sharia Court militia took control of Lower Shabelle and Mogadishu South. However, there are still some check-points in Mogadishu which are not under the control of the Islamic Courts. Militia allied to Hussein Aideed were reported to have disarmed more than 100 Oromo militia following an agreement reached between Aideed and third countries.

Administration: A conference was held at Shamo Hotel in Mogadishu. It was attended by Aideed and other faction leaders and aimed at reviving the Benadir regional administration .

Baidoa Liaison Office:

Baidoa and surrounding areas remained calm. Two bandits convicted of killing several people were sentenced to death by the local Rahanweyn Resistance Army (RRA) administration. The UNICEF Somalia Representative, Gianfranco Rotigliano and other staff attended the annual review in Baidoa.

Bardera Liaison Office:

Bardera and the rest of Gedo region remained calm. A meeting was held in Dollo at which traditional elders and political leaders from the two rival factions of the Somali National Front (SNF) and intellectuals agreed to solve the their differences.

Kismayo Liaison Office: Kismayo town remained calm though the town does not yet have an effective local administration. Clashes were reported between rival clans in Hombyo village, 20 km southeast of Jilib district, resulting in six deaths.

Economy: At least six commercial ships and four boats from the Gulf states and Kenya docked into Kismayo seaport with food and non-food items. The ships were loaded with charcoal destined for Arab countries.

Programme activity

Inter-agency coordination meeting: A task force meeting on cholera-preparedness was held and attended by the newly-appointed regional and district authorities of Bay region.

Health: UNICEF continued to support Health and EPI service delivery through the provision of supplies to facilities and other partner agencies.

National Immunization Days (NIDs): Preparations continued for the implementation of the second round of NIDs in 10 regions of the South/Central Zone. The second round will take place from 16 to 18 January. UNICEF and WHO supported and coordinated the implementation of the second round of NIDs in the region. The effort also received support from local communities, local and international NGOs. Supplies for the second round have already been dispatched.

Reproductive health: An anti-female genital mutilation (FGM) workshop was held in Elder district with 37 participants attending. It was organised by UNICEF in collaboration with CISP NGO.

Nutrition: Reports from UNICEF-supported nutrition programmes in Bardera, Bay, Bakool and Kismayo indicate that 8,130 malnourished children were provided with supplementary food from UNICEF. The Regional Health Board in Kismayo and UNICEF partners in Bakool and Bay regions distributed 6,877 bags of Supermix supplementary food supplies to 15,517 malnourished children as part of the UNICEF-supported supplementary feeding programme.

Water and Environmental Sanitation (WES):

Some 55 drums of chlorine were supplied to Medecins Sans Frontieres- Spain in Mogadishu, the MSF-Belgium Hospital in Kismayo and the Baidoa Water Development Committee for treatment of drinking water sources and disinfection of cholera treatment facilities. UNICEF in collaboration with partner agencies undertook rehabilitation and construction of numerous water and sanitation facilities. The projects included those focussing on hygiene and environmental sanitation.

Education: Rehabilitation of six classrooms each in Busley and Kacaan primary schools in Baidoa town was completed. UNICEF financed the rehabilitation. Rehabilitation work also started at Disabled Primary School in Jowhar. During the UNICEF Zonal Annual Review Meeting in Baidoa, the UNICEF Somalia National Programme Officer, Education, Ms Geeta Verma took participants on a tour of Busely and Kacaan primary schools.

UNICEF distributed education supplies to Ufurow and Berdale primary schools and provided plastic sheeting to Bardera Education Committee. The committee will distribute the sheets to an identified school.

As part of the Youth Education, Development and Protection Programme (YEDPP), UNICEF through its partners undertook the rehabilitation of two playgrounds for football and basketball in Baidoa. Construction and rehabilitation of two basketball grounds in Jowhar and Merka by Farjano company and IIDA respectively is going on. The organisation of the Millennium Peace Tournaments in football and athletics in Merka and Baidoa was concluded and competition began.

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