Lifesaving and Livelihoods Restoration LLRP
LLRP, Phases I – IV
Duration of the project
In 2016, Somalia was facing a humanitarian crisis. The UN warned about the risk of famine due to successive droughts. The Somalian authorities declared the drought a “national disaster”. Emergency measures have been taken to prevent a similar situation as that of 2011 when famine resulted in the deaths of 260’000 people. The situation remains critical.
Our activities take place in the Gedo region, situated at the Kenyian and Ethiopian borders. It is one of the largest regions of the country, and it is also particularly affected by drought. The economy is mostly dependent on livestock rearing, which is essential both to the populations’ diets and the households’ revenues. Herders are facing great difficulties: already weakened bywater shortage and lack of food, the livestock is also more exposed to diseases, and the animals tend to leave by themselves in search of more favorable conditions.
To alleviate the suffering of both the populations affected by hunger and their livestock, food has been distributed to the most vulnerable households, as well as fodder to feed the animals. Preferential recipients of food distribution were pregnant and lactating women as well as mothers of children below the age of five.
This project is thus particularly focused on fragile social classes such as female-headed households, elderly persons and the disabled. Our initiative also reaches out to displaced persons who migrated because of drought, conflicts or economic difficulties; according to the estimations, the Gedo region is home to 80,000 internally displaced persons.
Treating the animals and strengthening the livestock’s health are priorities too. As of today, hundreds of thousands of animals have already been vaccinated and dewormed, and common diseases are treated by community animal health workers (CAHWs). VSF-Suisse provided trainings on diagnostic procedures, existing treatments and the use of veterinary drugs for theses CAHWs. They have also received veterinary kits.
To lastingly enhance the resilience of the populations confronting drought, access to water is crucial. Animal as well as human health and food security are closely linked: consistent water supply increases agricultural and fodder production, the latter being critical to feed the livestock whose milk is vital to the pastoral populations. Goat and camel milk are among the main components of the households’ diets, and its sale represents a valuable source of income.
Within the framework of our project, hundereds of people have participated in the rehabilitation of canals. Tens of hectares have already been irrigated and 3,700 people are benefitting from the rehabilitation of 4 water tanks. Fodder was planted on dozens of hectares of land, and our teams were training farmers in fodder utilization. 200 farmers have adopted the fodder production methods that we taught them during the first phase of this project, and they benefitted from additional trainings on fodder conservation the following year.
In the long term, the project LLRP is aimed at supporting 18,000 people. To continue to build capacities and to ensure that drought no longer means catastrophe, the effort needs to be maintained over time. Our project is a step forward in this direction. The crisis in the Horn of Africa is such, that it is necessary to combine emergency measures with livelihoods restoration, as we do, to enable the populations not to be dependent on humanitarian assistance.