Somalia is, as many other countries, affected by climate change: Droughts, sandstorms and floods occur more frequently and more intensively. In response the German Red Cross, working in collaboration with the local population, community organisations and authorities, is attempting to make people more resilient towards external influences.
In a region like Somaliland, in which more than half of the population is undernourished and where access to safe drinking water is not existentover large areas, the consequences of natural disasters can be particularly dramatic. In twelve communities of Somaliland, home to around 50 000 people, the German Red Cross is working together with those affected to establish the structures for self-organisation. The steps to this end are as follows:
- 1. Electing a community committee in the project community
- 2. Training for the committee under the management of the Somalian Red Crescent (SRCS) in order to be properly informed about the subjects of climate change and adaptation as well as disaster preparedness and early warning systems.
- 3. Analyse the respective community
- 4. List existing measures relating to climate adaptation
- 5. Testing the early warning system
- 6. Analysis of possible weak points (unsecured water holes, weather-dependent sources of income)
- 7. Checking existing capacities (disaster-secure buildings, people with first aid knowledge)
- 8. Develop an action plan by the community committee with SRCS support which is approved by the community as a whole in coordination with local authorities. These plans form the basis for all project work. Early integration of the populace allows the GRC to more precisely determine actual project needs in the communities.
Plans for communities
Infrastructure, alternative sources of income or disaster preparedness-the community itself is primarily responsible for implementing the measures in the community plans. They are supported by SRCS and GRC staff. If the objective is to establish an effective early warning system, the respective community uses existing elements and further develops them. This means those affected are able in the future to identify changing weather conditions and respond adequately. A key aspect in making communities more resilient to climate change is to develop new sources of income so families are not totally dependent upon a single source in the event of a disaster. In this regard, the German Red Cross offers for example training and equipment for bee-keeping or a small-scale credit so that households can secure their existence with a small business.
Experts stay in Somaliland
The Somali Red Crescent plays a distinct role in implementing this project. The SRCS staff are given comprehensive training and prepared specifically to deal with the questions of climate change or community development. This means that future measures and developments can also benefit because the knowledge transferred remains in place also beyond the duration of the project. The trained teams then offer educational campaigns on the subject of climate change in communities, at schools, universities and at authoritiy level so that the impact of climate change can better be integrated into strategies, plans and programmes.
Region: Somaliland (provinces of Awdal, Maroodi Jeex, Saahil, Togdheer, Sool and Sanaag)
Project volume: 1.1 million Euro
Financing: Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Partners: Somali Red Crescent Society (SRCS)