Somalia

UNICEF Somalia Review Feb 2003

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Northwest Zone (NWZ), Hargeisa office - UNICEF activities in the zone cover Awdal, West Galbeed, Togdheer, Sool and Sanaag regions.
GENERAL SITUATION

Security: The zone remained stable during the month.

Politics: The campaigns for the presidential elections are in full gear. The elections will be held on April 23. The are three national parties of 'Somaliland' which presented nominations for presidential and vice-presidential candidates. As per the ruling of the Supreme Court of Somaliland, there are no independent candidates.

Economy: The Somaliland shilling traded at the rate of 6,400 to the dollar.

PROGRAMME ACTIVITIES

Health

UNICEF and local authorities' staff undertook joint supervision visits to 10 health centres and 20 health posts in the Awdal region. The joint team supplied various health information materials and spare parts for vaccine storage to the health facilities.

Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI): Two solar-powered vaccine storage units were installed in Lughaya and Zeila districts of Awdal region. Repairs were also undertaken to freezers that serve the EPI programme. EPI supplies and vaccines for the month of February were distributed to all the functioning health centres in Somaliland.

The first round of 2003 National Immunization Day (NID) campaigns for polio eradication were held in Somaliland at the end of February. Prior to the campaigns, social mobilisation and awareness activities were undertaken. About 720 vaccinators and 120 vehicles were deployed for the effort.

UNICEF distributed iron and folic acid tablets for the control and prevention of anaemia in pregnant women.

Nutrition

A nutrition survey was undertaken in areas inhabited by returnees in Hargeisa town. The aim was to evaluate the status of children aged between six months and five years. The survey covered 910 children and 900 households.

Supplementary feeding initiatives and other interventions to curb increased cases of malnutrition began in the drought-affected Zeila district of Awdal region. The programme is targeting 1,000 children aged under 5 years of age. The children are to receive high protein biscuits, immunization against the six childhood killer diseases (measles, tuberculosis, polio, diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus), along with vitamin A and iron folic acid supplementation.

Water and Environmental Sanitation

Construction work on the Odweineh Water Project entered its final stage. Generator and pumps are in place, final pipe connections to kiosks have been laid, and test pumping has been done.

After three years of construction works, the Borama Water Project entered its final phase and is due for completion by the end of April 2003. The project is expected to benefit 80,000 people in Borama town and its environs. A symposium was held to discuss privatisation and management of the project.

Construction and rehabilitation of latrines and a water tank at Sheikh Noor Primary School started. The facilities will serve 858 pupils.

Education

Preparations were completed for the Non-Formal Education (NFE) training to be conducted for 96 teachers from Sool, Sanag and Togdheer regions The 20-day training will take place in March and will be the final round of the first phase of the initiative. The trainees will also receive a newly developed package of instruction materials.

Gender, HIV/AIDS and FGM

UNICEF staff and representatives of women's groups in Hargeisa met to discuss plans for the commemoration of the International Women's Day on March 8. UNICEF also facilitated and delivered lectures at a girls' education workshop organised in Berbera by the ngo, Cooperazione (COOPI).

UNICEF held discussions with youth groups for the exchange of views on the organisation's agenda for HIV/AIDS and FGM prevention and awareness in 2003, and the role that youth can play. Participants included members of the Hargeisa Voluntary Youth Committee (HAVAYOCO).

Preparations for a Youth Access to Broadcasting production training workshop have been finalised. Eight youth groups from Somaliland and three from 'Puntland' will be represented in the five-day training workshop. The representatives from Somaliland will be from Borama, Burao and Hargeisa.. A total of 57 youth from 11 youth organisations will participate in the workshop.

Northeast Zone (NEZ), Bossaso office - UNICEF activities in the zone cover Bari, Nugal and Mudug regions.

GENERAL SITUATION

Visits: A United Nations team led by the UNDP Representative and Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia, Maxwell Gaylard, visited Northeast Somalia (Puntland) in early February. The UN team aimed to strengthen the working relationship with local authorities and lay the groundwork for re-establishing the following programmes: reintegration of refugee returnees and internally displaced persons into local communities; and capacity building for enhanced governance, reforming and training of police and the judiciary.

On 30 January, a delegation from the Africa Research Institute of La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia, arrived in Galkayo. Dr. David Dorward, the Dean of La Trobe, led the delegation. Among the places visited was the East African University; the Community College in Garowe, health institutes in Bossaso, Garowe and Galkayo, and secondary schools. Puntland Education Institute and La Trobe University signed an agreement for collaboration in support of the education sector.

The Puntland administration finally effected the move of key administrators from Bossaso to the capital Garowe. Garowe residents welcomed the new arrivals.

Economy: The exchange rate of the Somali shilling to the dollar averaged 20,100.

Weather: The dry weather season that started in December entered its final month. The season is called Dira.

PROGRAMME ACTIVITY

Health

UNICEF distributed 3,400 Insecticide Treated Nets (ITN) to be used in malaria prevention to partner organisations, among them the Somali Red Crescent Society (SRCS), Puntland's Ministry of Health and Labour (MOHL), and Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) Holland.

Nutrition

Refresher training on Vitamin A supplementation guidelines was conducted for organisers of polio eradication campaigns under National Immunization Days (NIDs).

Water and Environmental Sanitation (WES)

Gardo Water Project: The repair and erection of a steel tank for the project was completed. The project is due for completion by April 2003.. It will benefit 35,000 people in Gardo town and its environs.

Galkayo Water Project: A steel tank was installed and work commenced on the infrastructure to support the first borewell. Once completed, the project will benefit about 80,000 people in Galkayo town and its environs. The project is due for completion by the end of April 2003. Construction started two years ago. The Galkayo Water Company has been set up to manage the project, and is currently working on internal guidelines for operation. The European Union funded this project at a cost of $1.5 million.

Dongorayo Project: Problems with the drilling rig since January have stalled the progress of this rural-based project.

Godob Jiraan and Jingadda Projects: Six shallow wells in Nugal region will be rehabilitated once the Puntland State Agency for Water, Energy and Natural Resources (PSAWEN) and UNICEF work out modalities for the work.

HIV/AIDS

UNICEF organised a consultative meeting for policy development on HIV/AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) in Puntland.

Central and Southern Zone (CSZ) - Baidoa, Jowhar, Mogadishu and Kismayo offices

UNICEF activities in the zone cover Galgaduud, Hiran, Middle Shabelle, Lower Shabelle, Benadir, Lower and Middle Jubba, Gedo, Bay and Bakool regions.

GENERAL SITUATION

Security: The political and security situation in the zone remains unstable. Intermittent fighting was reported between rival political groups and clan militia.

JOWHAR LIAISON OFFICE

Security: Tension mounted between rival clans inhabiting Mahas and El-bur districts of Hiran and Galgadud regions. The feud arose out of the killing of family members belonging to one of the clans.

A UN delegation comprising representatives from UNDP, UNICEF and the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) visited Jowhar and held discussions with the chairman of the Political Committee of Middle Shabelle region.

MOGADISHU LIAISON OFFICE

Security: The situation in Mogadishu and Lower Shabelle Region was tense. The Mogadishu main airport and seaport remain closed. Intermittent fighting between rival groups left several people dead and others wounded.

BAIDOA LIAISON OFFICE

Security: The situation in Baidoa town and its environs was tense.

Police in Baidoa arrested suspects after an attempt to rob a businessman at Baidoa market. In another incident, a person died after being shot along the Wajid-Baidoa road, while on his way to sell a camel in Baidoa.

Food economy: Harvesting of the dry season crop in Baidoa and environs has started. Good crops of sorghum and beans have been reported. Unfortunately because of the good harvests, market prices have been low.

KISMAYO LIAISON OFFICE

Security: The overall security situation was relatively calm.

The chairman of the Juba Valley Alliance (JVA) which controls Kismayo returned to the port town after attending the Somali National Reconciliation talks in Kenya.

PROGRAMME ACTIVITY

Health

Cholera: UNICEF, in collaboration with WHO and other organisations, continued to undertake cholera control and prevention efforts. A manual in Somali language on diarrhoea outbreak preparedness and response was distributed to 82 UNICEF-supported health facilities in the zone.

Chlorination of sources of drinking water such as shallow wells and household water reservoirs was undertaken in Jowhar. Social mobilisation activities were undertaken to raise awareness of cholera control and prevention measures.

Cholera is endemic in Central and Southern Somalia, appearing with somewhat different outbreak patterns each year, but appearing annually nonetheless. The annual season produces widespread illness and death. Cholera normally surges from December through May and tends to recede with the onset of Somalia's annual long rains season.

UNICEF has responded to the current outbreak by supplying chlorine for water purification; increasing health surveillance; continuing sanitation control activities as well as setting up cholera treatment centres in collaboration with other organisations.

Nutrition

UNICEF staff undertook monitoring and supervision of supplementary feeding, and nutrition screening activities in Maternal and Child Health centres in Baidoa, Hudur, el-Berde, Rabdure, Wajid, Belet Weyne and Bulo Hawa.

Water and Environmental Sanitation

The rehabilitation of the Adale borewell was completed, a generator and pump installed and pumping tests undertaken. UNICEF staff visited the sites of various borewells due for rehabilitation soon.

An evaluation of the status of UNICEF-funded water projects initiated since 1996 commenced in Middle Shabelle and Lower Shabelle regions.

A mission consisting of the UNICEF Somalia Representative, Jesper Morch, and staff of the US Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) visited Jamame town and witnessed the commissioning of the town's water supply system. The project, funded by OFDA and implemented by UNICEF, has 12,000 beneficiaries.

Education

UNICEF Education staff members undertook supervision and monitoring visits to 33 primary schools in the zone. Of these, two in West Jamame and one in Luk were found to have closed due to lack of teachers' motivation.

Education supplies including school and class registers and pupil cards were distributed to various schools, reaching a total number of some 43, 600 pupils.

UNICEF staff held discussions with InterSoS NGO and the Farjano Water Management Company in Jowhar. The focus of discussions was the status of the education sector in the Middle Shabelle region. Inter-SOS is UNICEF's main education partner in the region. UNICEF and the organisation agreed on the need for better coordination of education activities between partner organisations, as well as the need to effectively monitor school and pupil records. The need to strengthen community education committees (CECs) was also emphasised.

In the meeting with Farjano, the possibility of increasing the classrooms in Kulmis Primary School was raised. The Farjano Water Company, a private company that runs the Jowhar Water Project, supports the school.

Should you have further queries on the UNICEF Somalia Review contact:

Robert Kihara,
Asst. Communication Officer, UNICEF Somalia:
E-mail: rkihara@unicef.org

OR

Julia Spry-Leverton,
Communication Officer, UNICEF Somalia.
TEL: 254-2-623958/623950/623862/623959/350410
FAX: 254-2-520640/623965.

Special thanks to UNICEF field staff and colleagues in Somalia who help compile input for the UNICEF Somalia Review.