The event was attended by the Vice President of Somaliland H.E Eng. Abdirahman Abdullahi Ismail and other dignitaries including the Minister of the Ministry of Resettlement, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Mr. Ahmed Abdi Kahin, the Mayor of Hargeisa Municipality Mr Abdirahman Aideed Mohamed, the UNOCHA Somaliland Head of Office Mr. Francis Lenoh, and NRC Somaliland and Djibouti Area Manager Mr. Boisy Williams.
In his speech, the Somaliland Vice President expressed his happiness to witness the transformation in the lives of hundreds of people who were displaced during the 2011 drought and who are no longer internally displaced persons, thanks to the shelter and livelihood assistance from NRC and other humanitarian partners.
“It gives me great pleasure when I see all these people who used to live in poor conditions back at Mohammed Moge IDP settlement now proudly owning their homes and beginning a new life. They now have homes which can protect them from rain, hot sun and wind storms with received additional services such as water, a health post and a community centre”, said the Vice president.
The families that have been resettled at Digaale were transferred from the Mohammed Moge IDP Settlement in an elaborate process spanning over a period of two years. This was following the acquisition of a piece of secure land after dialogue and advocacy, which resulted in a breakthrough in November 2013, allowing the IDPs to own title deeds and live in more secure conditions.
“The history and processes leading to the establishment of the Digaale settlement has been long, difficult and at times nerve-wrecking.........but the end has surely justified the means” said Williams in his speech on behalf of INGOs during the handing over ceremony.
NRC with funding from ECHO constructed 700 semi-permanent shelters and installed 700 water tanks beside each home to facilitate water access, in addition to a temporary health post. Furthermore, 300 latrines were constructed, 129 shelter kits, 829 hygiene kits, 700 non-food items, 829 solar lamps and 415 sanitation kits were distributed. A community centre was also constructed with funding from the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA). Going forward, NRC with support from the Ministry of Resettlement, Rehabilitation & Reconstruction will link the project to development partners to ensure its sustainability.
However, a few gaps still exist including 129 semi-permanent shelters, 129 water tanks and 109 latrines and for which NRC has began discussions with various donors to obtain the necessary funding and other support. The NRC Somaliland programme has field operations in Hargeisa, Burao and Erigavo, with core competencies in shelter, WASH, education, food security and livelihoods while factoring protection as an integral part of all programme activities.