Faraweyne Somalia



Keywords: community-drive, conflict countries, fragile states, state-building, development, education, health, somalia, water, cdrd, development, mission report, somaliland
Description: Faraweyne, a town on the Somali side of the Ethiopian/Somaliland border, was my destination for a handful of field visits. It is a town in the northwestern Woqooyi Galbeed province of Somaliland, a self-declared republic that is internationally recognised as an autonomous region of Somalia.

Faraweyne, a town on the Somali side of the Ethiopian/Somaliland border, was my destination for a handful of field visits. It is a town in the northwestern Woqooyi Galbeed province of Somaliland, a self-declared republic that is internationally recognised as an autonomous region of Somalia.

Community-Driven Recovery and Development (CDRD) has been present in Faraweyne and the surrounding areas since January, 2013. The town of Faraweyne is 55km from the capital of Somaliland, Hargeisa, and can take up to two hours to reach from the capital due to poor roads.

The aim of the field visits was to simply discuss the CDRD process with communities found in and around Faraweyne, to get a greater sense of the personal and joint struggles and achievements.

Our first stop was Gadhyogol – the hometown of my guide and colleague, Mustafe. A beautiful Somali girl, a future student and the future of the village itself, joined us for the meeting, all the time clutching at her mother and staring at me with wide eyes and a curious expression.

It was great to hear the male to female ratio at the school – 66:48. When the time comes for the young Somali girl to attend primary school, maybe the gender balance will be more equal; a great achievement in Somaliland, where parents prioritise spending on the boy’s education.

To read more about the villager’s CDRD experience, read the past blog post: “People are blind when they do not have education. We need to see,” click here .

We then visited the neighbouring town of Shimbiraale who had also prioritised the building of a primary school. Before construction, children from the village would have to make the long trek to the next closest school in Gadhyogol, a two hour walk from the school.

Community Project Implementation Unit (CPIU) member, Treasurer and teacher, Ahmed, took control of the conversation that took place in the village. It was evident that he was bursting with pride when speaking about his input in the project; “Personally, I can’t believe I was trusted with so much money. This process has been an education for us, not just the kids.”

CDRD provides technical support and training to the CPIUs to ensure they can adequately undertake the following financial-management tasks, which are integral to promoting transparency. Ahmed’s role as CDRD Treasurer was to ensure the following:

• Keeping accurate accounting records at the community level on all funds received and expenditures, and making them available to community members, district authorities, and other parties upon request

• Providing monthly reports to the community on the current financial and physical status of the subproject

• Maintaining a register of all cash, labor, and material contributions from the community, valued at local market rates

Our third stop was to the town of Aburiin, where we were welcomed with traditional sickly sweet Somali tea. The community profusely apologized for not slaughtering a goat in my honour. Men from the village sat drinking tea, listening to my conversation with two members of the CPIU. All the while, women from the village performed their daily chores in the fierce Somali heat.

Of our visits, this was theonly town to prioritise a water berkat. Water security is of paramount importance for a country that has been repeatedly affected by drought. Many communities still lack access to potable water. Access to safe water is a fundamental human need and therefore a basic human right.

Many CDRD communities in Somalia, Somaliland and Puntland have prioritised the construction or rehabilitation of water berkats, in order to capture and store the rain water in the moments when it does fall. The water berkat in Aburiin will help the villagers mitigate against the worst effects of drought.

Our last stop was the town of Guul Alla, again, the villagers chose to prioritise education with their CDRD grant, rehabilitating their primary school. The gender balance at the school was less pleasing in this village, but maybe more representative of the reality in Somali, Somaliland and Puntland; 63 boys:19 girls.

We weren’t able to visit the children whilst they were at school as our visit took place during the school holidays and the kids were out, either enjoying their freedom or helping with family chores. Although villagers ensured us that the children were very happy with their rehabilitated school.

The CDRD process had been one of enlightenment for the CPIU and they kept their CDRD Handbook close-at-hand to help them with any post-construction queries.




Photogallery Faraweyne Somalia:



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