Somalilandsun: In Somaliland, COVID-19 is just the latest challenge for people already facing the worst effects of climate change.
Globally Lack of access to clean water is putting millions of people at risk and allowing diseases like COVID-19 to spread faster in poor communities.
With support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and funding from the Global Environment Facility Least Developed Countries Fund, the government of Somaliland has helped thousands of farmers nationwide, get access to water for drinking, cooking and watering livestock. This is more a vital resource for the beneficiaries since it is also key to slowing the spread of COVID-19 by making it easier to wash hands and clean household items.
The Enhancing Climate Resilience of the Vulnerable Communities and Ecosystems project, which ran from 2014-2019, constructed 150 water-harvesting facilities, including a 50,000-cubic-meter dam in Baligubadle.
In Africa, as many as 115 people die every hour from diseases linked to poor sanitation, poor hygiene and contaminated water. Since 2008, UNDP has supported 1.4 million people with increased access to drinking water and provided support to improve local farming and business opportunities for 80 million.
The Baligubadle dam provides safe water access for an estimated 10,000 people in the district and for fifty year old Fardosa Mohamed and mother of ten, it means she no longer needs to travel three hours to Hargeisa, to get water. It also means she can keep her livestock healthy in extreme conditions.
Before the dam, people weren’t so lucky, and many lost their livestock in prolonged droughts that have ravaged the region and pushed thousands from the countryside and into the cities.
“Last year was horrible. The drought was extreme. No rain. No water. We almost died.” – Fardosa told UNDPs RESILIENCE ON THE FRONTLINES