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Project brings optimism to the El Wak community


Alasa Gurhn Guure, a woman leader makes a point during the launch of the El Wak project 


She speaks with assertiveness and vigour. Alasa Gurhn Guure,57, hails from El Wak, Somalia, an area that is largely semi-arid. “Women in my area face challenges such as inadequate food and poor sanitation for their families. We have poor rains most of the year and this adds to our problems,” says Guure, a mother of one and a grandmother to nine.

Guure is a chairperson of four women groups, which has about 40 members, each. The groups are engaged in small businesses and sanitation initiatives. She is among 4200 people set to benefit from a three-year Integrated Community Rehabilitation Programme in El Wak District, Gedo Region, South Central Somalia that AAH-I recently launched. About 700 households will benefit from the initiative. The project is funded by Bread for the World.

The project was launched in mid-February 2016 in El Wak town, Kenya, during a community stakeholders’ meeting. Its will work to improve household food security levels, increase local knowledge and practices related to primary health care, increase access to Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) and improve livelihoods among the target population by 2018.

During the project launch, Ibrahim Guled Adan, El Wak District Commissioner, Somalia, assured AAH-I of his government’s support, including security. “This project is for the benefit of our people. The Government will fully support it,” he said. Mr Adan’s El Wak Kenya counterpart; Peter Netashara thanked AAH-I and Nomadic Assistance For Peace and Development (NAPAD), the implementing partner, for choosing to work in the area, despite myriad challenges.

Among the interventions to be carried out include; training women groups on good agricultural/pastoral practices, safe milk handling processes, value addition and business skills, the establishment of a market information centre and the provision of business input to select women groups. Guure's women groups are among those set to benefit.

Mutuku Nguli, the AAH-I Somalia Programme Manager, thanked all the stakeholders for their continued support. He said AAH-I would work with them to achieve the project’s objectives. Monica Mwangi, the project manager echoed Mutuku’s sentiments, as she outlined the project’s vision.

Dr Abdullahi Mohamed Hersi, the NAPAD Executive Director, said the organisation is committed in efforts to improve the livelihood of the communities that they serve. He retaliated that the AAH-I-NAPAD partnership was a show of commitment to the El Wak community and he said both organisations would work with all partners to improve the lives of the population. "We want to support women like Guure and others to make the changes needed in this community."

Inspiring story ahead of the World Refugee day.