UN Migration Agency, UNDP Improve Access to Clean Water for 45,000 Displaced Somalis in Baidoa

Community Stabilization, Humanitarian Emergencies, Internally Displaced Persons

Baidoa – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, is partnering with the Government of Somalia and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to provide greater access to clean water for over 45,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) and host communities in the south-western state of Baidoa affected by drought. The project is part of ongoing water, sanitation and hygiene activities and drought response work being carried out by IOM and UNDP in the area.

Somalia’s Gu (April–June) rainy season was significantly below average this year, creating severe drought across all regions. Baidoa town has been one of the most affected areas, and currently holds one of the highest numbers of IDPs in Somalia. According to IOM's Displacement Tracking Matrix, across 21 sites, there are over 243,000 people who have migrated to the area between November 2016 and September 2017. Absorption capacities in Baidoa have already been severely overstretched, hugely increasing the demand for life-saving services and leading to deteriorating living conditions in the IDP settlements and host communities.
In line with the Federal Government’s priorities, the Somali National Development Plan and the hygiene and sanitation cluster’s objectives, the aim of this joint IOM-UNDP project is to provide sustainable water supply services to displaced and disaster vulnerable women, girls, boys and men in IDP settlements and host communities in Baidoa town. Strategic boreholes will be rehabilitated to provide access to safe and clean water to areas affected by drought. The project also includes the construction of water tanks and delivery of water by trucks.

“Providing clean water for the IDPs and host communities is one of the Ministry’s main priorities, especially as it contributes towards the prevention of waterborne diseases in the region,” said Aden Hassan Mohamed, Minister of Energy and Water Resources of the South West State. “We are very excited to receive additional support from UNDP and IOM,” he added.

Abdirahim Nor, UNDP Climate Resilience Programme Specialist, said UNDP is committed to supporting drought-affected people and poor urban communities in Baidoa town and surrounding villages, while also building resilience to climatic-induced droughts in Somalia by increasing access to clean water.

“Such droughts not only trigger a humanitarian catastrophe but are a major impediment to development in Somalia. The losses are enormous in the form of lives and livelihoods. UNDP is providing support to Baidoa through IOM to ensure we are able to provide access to reliable sources of water for IDPs and vulnerable communities,” Nor said.

“Access to water is a major challenge not only for the displaced persons but also for the whole community living in Baidoa and surrounding areas,” said Omar Khayre, IOM’s Hygiene and Sanitation Programme Manager. “As the population in Baidoa has almost increased by 40 to 50 per cent, the current water supply cannot meet the needs. The project will contribute towards covering the critical immediate needs as well as train officials on how to maintain, repair and manage water sources.”
From January to September 2017, IOM has provided an emergency supply of over 180 million litres of clean and safe water to 568,749 beneficiaries across its target regions through a water voucher mechanism. An estimated 385,958 people have been provided with sustainable access to water through operational and maintenance support of 46 permanent water sources, including strategic boreholes and shallow wells. IOM is also conducting hygiene promotion among at-risk communities, having reached an estimated 563,777 people with behavioural change messages between January and September 2017.
For more information, please contact: Yuko Tomita at IOM Somalia, Tel: + 254 715 990 600, Email: iomsomaliapsu@iom.int or Hassan Abdirizak Ahmed at UNDP Somalia, Email: hassan.a.ahmed@undp.org

  • Somalia’s Ministry of Water and Energy in the South West has identified 11 strategic boreholes that will be rehabilitated to provide access to safe and clean water to areas affected by drought and AWD/cholera in Baidoa. Photo: Hasan Ahmed Hared / IOM 2017

  • Representatives from local authorities, IOM and UNDP met in Baidoa on Wednesday 25 October 2017 to launch the project. Photo: Hasan Ahmed Hared / IOM 2017