Hassan Adam Hareth with his taxi in Hargeisa City, Somaliland. Hassan makes about $30 daily from his taxi business.
He is about six-feet tall and carries a friendly smile, as he drives cautiously along streets in Hargeisa city, Somaliland.
He talks fleetingly and slowly, but maintains his amicability. He has proven that refugees can led normal lives and fend for themselves. He has debunked the notion that refugees depend on rations, for their survival. This is after they lose their livelihood in their countries, due to conflict.
Hassan Adam Hareth, 46, is Yemeni who fled conflict in his country in mid - 2015, and currently among 11500 asylum seekers and refugees in Somaliland’s capital Hargeisa, drawn from eight countries. There are slightly over 3000 asylum seekers and refugees from Yemen.
Hareth was working as a manager for a money transfer agency in Taiz city, in Yemen for three years. He was a happy family man, with two of his five children studying in university. Life was good for his family as he earned a salary that comfortably sustained them. Suddenly, the war in Yemen changed it all.
“I left the country with my entire family, and moved to Hargeisa, with the future looking completely uncertain,” says Hareth, a father of children, aged between 11 and 22. “I was miserable and kept wondering how my children and wife would survive,” he says.
But he was able to start a business whose profitability is quickly rising, barely three months, since he started it. Hareth is currently doing a taxi business that has enabled him to feed and pay fees for his children, feed and clothe them. He is among eight refugees who AAH-I in Somaliland has supported to each own a taxi.“I make about $40 per day, but $10 goes for fuel and other expenses. I remain with $30 daily,” he says, as he changes gears. Competition was stiff when he started the business, but he quickly adopted.
AAH-I in Somaliland gave him $4300 in November, 2015 for the Income Generating Activity (IGA). This funding is from UNHCR. He used the money to buy Noah vehicle for a taxi that operates in Hargeisa. With the $750 he makes monthly, Hareth has been able to cater for basic needs for his family and pay for fees for his two children in university. “My wife is also in her first year of university, studying Islamic Studies,” says Hareth of his wife, Hafsa Haji, 42.
He plans to save and with a group of other businesspeople to start a wholesale shop that imports foodstuff in the next two - three years.
According to AAH-I’s Self Reliance/Livelihoods Manager Barlet Jaji, in Hargeisa, the organisation created 46 viable businesses last year. These are Yemenis, Congolese, Ethiopians, Eritreans and Palestine. The beneficiaries are refugees who have fled their countries due to conflict.