UNICEF Somalia Review Nov 1999

Second Round of Kick Polio out of Somalia campaign held

UNICEF and WHO continued to support Somalia in the implementation of national immunisation days' (NIDs) campaigns as part of that global polio eradication initiative. In this endeavour, the UN agencies collaborated with national and international non-governmental organisations, local authorities and Somali communities in the implementation of the second round of this year's campaign in Somalia. The first round was conducted from October 24 to 26 1999. The second round of the campaign was conducted from November 28 to 30 1999. To complete the campaign, a third round will be conducted in January 2000 covering the entire Somalia.

Media: The BBC Somali Service and the Addis Ababa-based Radio Voice of Peace have played a key role in airing radio messages informing Somalis about the campaigns and the need to take their children for immunisation.

Hargeisa Office - Northwest Zone Somalia

General situation

Security: The zone was relatively calm. The residence of the Chairperson of the War Veterans (Sooyal) which is near the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) compound.

A third explosion was reported in Addadley after a grenade was thrown in a tent used by the Danish Demining Group.

Political Development: 'President' Mohamed Ibrahim Egal returned from a trip abroad.

He visited Borama for the first time since he started his current term of the Presidency.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Mohamoud Salah Nur, indicated that 'Somaliland' supported reconciliation initiatives for Somalia by the Djibouti government.

The European Commission and the government of Denmark signed an agreement with a local firm for rehabilitation of bridges on the Hargeisa-Dilla road. The project funded by the government of Denmark will be followed by four other projects to rehabilitate the bridges on the Hargeisa-Berbera and Hargeisa-Burao roads.

Economy: This month, the exchange rate of the 'Somaliland' shilling averaged about 2,750 to the US dollar.

Programme activity

Health: An assessment of the health situation in four districts of Togdheer region was completed. A five-day orientation/training course was conducted in Burao in which about 20 health centre staff from Buhodle, Ainabo, Duruqsi and Ballidhiig districts participated. The course focussed on basic management skills in health and co-financing systems; communication skills; community diagnosis; social mobilisation and supervision and management of drugs and revenue.

UNICEF carried out a health manpower census and compiled an inventory of health centres and health posts in all the six regions of the zone to be used as a basis for human resource planning.

NIDS: UNICEF in collaboration with the 'Somaliland' Ministry of Health and Labour (MOHL) and WHO conducted polio immunisation in all major towns, villages and rural areas and among nomadic communities in the zone. Some 296 teams participated in the second round of sub-national immunisation days in 'Somaliland'.

Reproductive health: A two-day meeting on reproductive health was held in Hargeisa. Some 30 participants attended from different zones of Somalia. The objective of the workshop was to exchange ideas and share views about reproductive health problems in Somalia.

Nutrition: Five-day training of trainers' sessions were held for staff of maternity clinics in Hargeisa, Borama, Berbera and Burao towns in these locations. A total of 12 participants were selected from the sessions and trained in breastfeeding management and promotion. The objective of the training was to improve the knowledge and skills of maternity services' staff.

Water and Environmental Sanitation (WES): Training of WES committee members was undertaken in Hargeisa town. Some 15 schoolteachers from four schools in Berbera and Burao were trained in hygiene education. Construction and rehabilitation of 10 latrines and five hand-washing facilities for five schools in Hargeisa commenced.

Education: A six-day workshop for supervisors and training of trainers (TOTs) was conducted in Hargeisa. The workshop was attended by some 20 regional supervisors and was facilitated by six master trainers and UNICEF. The 'Somaliland' Minister of Education, Mr. Ali Mohamed Waran-Adde, opened the workshop. Mr. Gianfranco Rotiglano, UNICEF Somalia Representative also delivered a speech during the opening. The objective of the workshop was to train regional supervisors and TOTs on the newly-procured education kits, school registers and the school improvement initiative. Discussion of the Education Management Information System (EMIS) took place. The workshop also produced a plan for training and distribution of education kits.

During the closing of the workshop, the 'Somaliland' Minister for Education expressed satisfaction with outcome of the workshop and urged participants to replicate the process in their regions. He said the Ministry of Education Youth and Sports (MOEYS) was determined to set a good foundation for the future generations in 'Somaliland'.

"Our children should know the right from the wrong, the good from the bad and this is something you should tell them," said the minister. The minister called for accountability and transparency and thanked UNICEF for the role it had played in supporting the education system of 'Somaliland'. He said UNICEF had a special place in the MOEYS' heart and the administration will not allow anything to jeopardise this relationship.

Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) workbook: Distribution of this workbook is to be undertaken following the drawing up of a plan after UNICEF staff visited various schools and met teachers. In Hargeisa about 900 students will benefit from the workbook.

Monitoring and Evaluation:

Preparations for the carrying out of the Multi-Indicator Survey for the year 2000 started on 10 November with a 10-day training workshop for a group of 30 enumerators and supervisors. The training was successfully completed and on 20

November the teams set out for the regions to conduct fieldwork.

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM): A consultative meeting on FGM was held from 14 to 15 November. The purpose of the meeting was to take stock of the achievements of the last two years and to examine the prevailing situation with a view to streamlining FGM activities in accordance with UNICEF policies.

Baidoa/ Kismayo/Jowhar/Mogadishu and Bardera Offices of the Southern/Central Zone of Somalia

Jowhar Liaison Office

Security: Jowhar town was relatively calm. However, following some inter-clan clashes in Mahadey town in Middle Shabelle region which later spread to Mogadishu, community leaders intervened and brought them to an end. UNICEF and WFP food convoys to Bakool region passed through Middle Shabelle region, indicating an improvement in the security situation in the region.

Mogadishu Liaison Office

Security: Mogadishu South remained calm during the reporting period while Mogadishu North was tense. Inter-clan fighting at the El-Ma'an port was solved following intervention by community and political leaders.

The Islamic Sharia Courts in Mogadishu expanded territorial control in Banadir and Lower

Shabelle. This resulted in improved security on the main roads and removal of illegal checkpoints in the two regions. Nevertheless, there are still two check points on the outskirts of Mogadishu and Afgoi on the way to Merka and confrontation between the militia of the SNA against the Sharia Court militia is possible.

Baidoa Liaison Office

Security: Baidoa and surrounding areas were relatively calm. There was tension in Diinsor between the local militia and the Rahanweyn Resistance Army, which was later solved. Militia looted some 15 metric tonnes of UNICEF Supermix supplementary food supplies which had been delivered to Burhakaba. Efforts by the RRA to recover the looted supplies were not successful.

Bardera Liaison Office

Security: Bardera and other parts of Gedo region remained calm.

Kismayo Liaison Office

Security: Kismayo town and surrounding areas remained relatively stable despite some killings attributed to banditry. Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF-Belgium) informed its Kismayo office that MSF-B would halt its support to Kismayo


hospital effective 1 December 1999. As a result, local residents held a major demonstration against the decision and appealed to MSF-Belgium to continue its assistance.

The main bridge at Kamsuma in Lower Jubba which was previously a vital link between the Lower Jubba and the rest of Somalia, underwent temporary repairs. Somali businesspeople funded the repairs and the bridge is now accessible to small vehicles.

Programme overview

Health/Nutrition: UNICEF distributed 113mts of Supermix supplementary food supplies and 12 mts of high-protein BP-5 biscuits to Jowhar, Baidoa and Kismayo. UNICEF supported implementation of the first round of the NIDs successfully in Hiraan, Bay and Bakool regions.

Training in preparation for the Multiple Indicator

Cluster Survey to take place next year took place in Hiran, Bay, Bakool and Gedo.

UNICEF staff carried out an assessment of mother and child health (MCH) centres run by International Medical Corps (IMC) and another NGO, DMO.

In Baidoa, the new UNICEF South/Central zone Health and Nutrition officer undertook a familiarisation tour of Lower and Middle Shabelle, Hiran, Bay and Bakool regions. Malaria was identified as a problem in Jowhar and Hoddur districts and areas of Galgadud region. UNICEF sent a mission to Hoddur in response to the malaria outbreak there to assess and recommend on appropriate interventions.

UNICEF supplied medical kits and other supplies to various partners. These included plastic sheeting to InterSoS NGO in Jowhar and CISP NGO in Harardere in Middle Shabbelle and Galgadud regions.

A extra-ordinarily high number of neonatal tetanus cases were reported in Mahas town in Hiran region.

Reproductive health: UNICEF staff from the zone participated in the FGM and reproductive health consultative meetings in Hargeisa from 14 to 15 November.

Focus was on how to eliminate FGM

in Somalia and on how to draw up a plan of action for reproductive health for the year 2000.

Nutrition: A total of 6,552 children benefited from supplies of high-protein BP-5 biscuits in the zone.

As part of its programme, UNICEF will provide additional nutritional supplies to Somali Red Crescent Society (SRCS). Somaction and other NGOs are beneficiaries of UNICEF support in the zone. UNICEF has also restarted its feeding programme through the Regional Health Board (RHB) in Kismayo.

Looting: Some 600 bags of Supermix supplementary food supplies were looted from a mother and child health centre (MCH) centre in Burhakaba.

UNICEF continues to encounter a problem of monitoring the nutrition programme due to staff shortages. Storage space is still a problem in the Baidoa office.

Drought: Some families have started moving from drought-affected villages to larger towns in Bay and Bakool regions. It is crucial to increase levels of food distribution soon.

Water and environmental sanitation: UNICEF completed the rehabilitation of boreholes in Bulofur, Barako, Kuronbod, El Abey, Ufurow, and Jurow . They have already been handed over to the local communities to manage. Another well at Qansandhere was also repaired and it is now operational. Work and laying of connection pipes in Kurtun and Toosweyn villages which are part of the UNICEF-implemented Western Bay Phase I rehabilitation project has begun.

Other rehabilitation projects and new ones continue to be implemented by UNICEF in Gurban (Dinsor District), Awdinle (Berdale District) and Midow (Baidoa District). An inventory of all permanent water sources in Bay, Bakool and Hiraan regions has been completed. Jamame borehole, rehabilitated by CINS and Jubba Shine NGOs with UNICEF support was completed satisfactorily. More than 30,000 people will benefit from clean and potable water. Chlorination of drinking water sources in Bardera started to prevent a cholera outbreaks.

Education: UNICEF zonal staff undertook assessment visits to Kerow-Malaq, Karima, Kormari and Goof Gadud Shabelow villages of Baidoa district. UNICEF in collaboration with UNESCO distributed educational supplies to Mogadishu. Some 81 Primary schools by supported by various NGOs and local partners will benefit. UNICEF also distributed 3,248 textbooks in Arabic, Islamic studies and health education in Gedo, Bay and Bakool regions.

Reconstruction of four schools in Jamame district was reported to be almost complete, with plastering and painting works remaining. The El-Nino floods of late 1997 destroyed these schools. A total of 1,300 children are enrolled in these schools, of whom about half are girls. A 10-day training workshop for school supervisors was conducted in Merca with 34 supervisors from10 regions attending. The aim of the workshop was to introduce new education kits and familiarise them with the school improvement manual and the education management information system.

Youth, Education, Development and Protection (YEDPP): UNICEF compiled an inventory of sports materials in stock at the UNICEF warehouses in Jowhar and Mogadishu. Organisation of the Millennium Peace tournaments in Jowhar and Merka was finalised.

UNICEF began to identify and register active youth groups and other organisations that handle youth activities in the zone. A full set of football kits was dispatched from Mogadishu for the use of youth groups in the area.

Emergency: At the beginning of October, the level of the Shabelle and Jubba Rivers rose, flooding some areas like Hiran and Jowhar causing the destruction of some of the farms in the riverine area. The expected Deyr season rains were below expected levels in most parts of the region. The poor rains are expected to contribute to a worsening of the already delicate food situation in much of the zone.