Somalilandsun: The Hargeisa Urban Water Supply project (HUWSUP) with overall objective of the project is to improve access to safe and affordable water and enhance livelihoods of vulnerable households in urban and peri-urban areas of Hargeisa city, through expanded supply of drinking water from sustainable water sources and associated creation of employment opportunities ix set to meet the completion deadline of 5th April 2021.
Commenced in 2013 courtesy of. $23,453,290 grant from the European Union, HUWSUP had encountered difficulties in pipe laying due to constraints the Hargeisa water agency contracted engineers encountered from huge insurmountable rocks that were in some parts of the planned pipes route.
Works to Secure supply from Ged Deeble wellfield for the long term, through replacement of the existing rising mains supplying water from the wellfield to the Chinese Reservoir in Hargeisa city came to a standstill after the engineers failed to crush the huge boulders measuring over ten metres in two different pipes route paths.
Thus for a number of months HUWSUP works came to a standstill and the deadline seemed untenable.
But thanks to a three pronged partnership bringing composed of Halo Trust, the Somaliland military and Hargeisa Water agency the contractors are back to work and residents are anticipating the much waited supply of clean and sufficient water in the Somaliland capital.
”The rocks were cleared through controlled explosion by our Agency“ informed Matt Abercrombie the Somaliland Halo Trust country Operations manager during a briefing to The Horn Tribune newspaper and www.somalilandsun.com in his Hargeisa offices.
Flanked by Ismail Aw Dahir Abdi the Halo trust country communications officer, Mr. Abercrombie said that the rocks were blown using Anti-tank mines supplied by the Somaliland military.
”Our engineers blasted the huge rocks utilizing over 10 anti-tank mines of 11kgs each at two different sites along the HUWSUP pipes route“said the operations manager adding that the entire process was supervised by senior military personnel and Hargeisa water agency officials.
Stressing that the mandate of Halo Trust in Somaliland is primarily Clearing landmines & explosives as well as Teaching people how to stay safe due to the many landmines planted during the civil war of the eighties and nineties, Matt Abercrombie revealed that agency of British origin is regularly involved in various community activities in all the over 100 countries it operates in Globally, thence the rock blasting work for HUWSUP is not strange.
Queried on how Halo Trust got involved and whether the Somaliland military hasn’t the knowhow for the blasting work, the country operations manager said
”We were approached by the Hargeisa Water Agency to help clear the huge rocks and since we do not stockpile any ordinance we requested the military for supplies “adding that the Somaliland military has sufficient detonation Knowhow, but Halo Trust is has more expertise in controlled detonations.
In conclusion Mr. Abercrombie informed that Halo Trust is prepared to avail its expertise in any development sector upon request by stakeholders.
The specific objectives of the Hargeisa Urban Water Supply Project closely match with the Immediate Measures and Short-term Actions of the Hargeisa Water Master-plan. which have been identified as the short-term interventions that are urgently required to a) safeguard and augment the existing water supply, and b) to establish the basic preconditions for HWA reorganization and its transition to an efficient public-private partnership. In accordance, the specific objectives of the proposed intervention are to:
- Secure supply from Ged Deeble wellfield for the long term, through replacement of the existing rising mains supplying water from the wellfield to the Chinese Reservoir in Hargeisa city;
- Expand and extend the Hargeisa urban water supply system through the rehabilitation and expansion of the Ged Deeble wellfield, and the initial development of the Hora Hadley wellfield, and
iii. Build capacity at the Hargeisa Water Agency, concentrating on planning, management and delivery of capital works projects.
Halo Trust Somaliland
HALO began working in Somaliland in 1999, clearing battlefields and minefields covering an area larger than Washington D.C. Today, we employ over 500 local staff and continue to work with the government, providing training and mentoring to the national authorities.
In a country ravaged by drought, we create safe access to roads and precious grazing land. We also teach families how to stay safe until all the landmines can be removed for good. This is vital work because we receive and respond to hundreds of callouts from people who discover dangerous explosives that need to be destroyed.
Our shared goal is for a Landmine Free 2025 for the people of Somaliland. This can be achieved—we estimate that the 90 remaining minefields could be cleared by 2023, saving lives and securing futures.