Managing Uncertainty: resilient households coping up with recurrent drought situations!
Figure 1 Mr. Said Aw Ali Said is an elder from Buq hayle village of Sanaag region. He is one of CARE’s STORRE project beneficiaries and he had participated consecutive trainings on building community resilience to prepare for droughts and other climate related hazards.
My name is Said Aw Ali Said. I have two families consisting of 18 people. I have been living in Sanaag region since my childhood. This village (Buq-hayle) did not exist by then. It was established about 10 years ago. The total population of the village is estimated to be around 80 people but there are many more living in the village’s outskirts. The livelihood of this community mostly depends on livestock. In addition, we have some rain-fed farms from which we get some harvest once in a while.
This present drought existed for three consecutive years and its impact is at its climax now. To the current drought, Buq hayle community lost their livestock, mostly cattle, sheep and goats. As a family, we possessed 100 sheep and goats but we lost 50 of them to the drought.
I have then thought of how best I could become resilient and adapt to such cyclic droughts, then I came up with a plan for efficiently managing my resources so that my livestock survives during the drought. I had developed a plan based on the four climatic seasons–Jiilaal, Gu’, Xagaa and Deyr (i.e. Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall). Part of my plan was to cultivate fodder for the livestock. My family and I began to grow fodder for the livestock and store it until there is no sufficient pasture to graze. Our livestock would then survive on the stored fodder during drought situation. We have been doing this practice over the last two years and the initial idea of preparing for droughts and other shocks to mitigate against its adverse effects was inspired by CARE’s STORRE project.
Figure 2: Mr. Said collecting the animal fodder
CARE has worked with Buq hayle community for nearly two years supporting us on the protection of the environment and rehabilitation of rangelands. It has also trained us and organized awareness raising workshops to enable us build our resilience and prepare for droughts and other hazards, and mitigate their impact on the lives of both human beings and livestock. I’m happy to proudly say that my enduring livestock have enough fodder. Now my other priority is to construct water catchment (berkad) for storing rainwater. The stored water will serve as for both drinking and irrigation purposes.
Once asked Said how he’s supporting other community members to survive. This is his response:
As an elder, I’m committed to serve for the development of my community and contribute to ideas that can help them survive during hardships.
Figure 3: Mr. Said’s wife Halimo is happily milking her cow as she and family strive to make through this dry season
CARE is implementing the Somalia towards Reaching Resilience (STORRE) project. The project is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). It is targeting communities in Badhan and Erigavo districts in the Sanaag region of Somalia. It aims to equitably increase the resilience of women and men in 4,240 households in 53 villages in the Sanaag region. It is doing this by increasing the understanding and capacity of households to landscape level risks and changes that undermine resilience.
One of STORRE’s key tools for behavior change and dialogue is the Participatory Monitoring, Evaluation, Reflection and Learning (PMERL) process. This tool, in conjunction with the Climate Vulnerability and Capacities Analysis (CVCA), is designed to help communities evaluate the risks they face, articulate their own needs assess their own adaptive capacities and assets, establish priorities of visions of change, monitor changes over time, and reflect on the progress and process.