Somaliland Net your gate way to Somaliland News and Information
Tuesday July 24th 2012

Somaliland: Permanent homes for 300 displaced persons

A Japanese-funded NRC/UNHCR shelter project including 50 permanent shelters was today handed over to the community in Aden Suleiman (aka Aadan Salleebaan) settlement for internally displaced people in Burao, Somaliland.

A total of 50 permanent shelters, which will benefit 300 people, were constructed by members of the community with the training, technical assistance and supervision of NRC. The Somaliland Government was also instrumental in the success of the project.

NRC’s regional representative Hassan Khaire together with residents that was once displaced by war in Somalia but today were celebrating the opening of new permanent homes. Photo: NRC/Astrid Sehl

Each home consists of two rooms and outdoor space totalling 144 square metres. NRC provided the design, tools, materials and training for the locally recruited labourers, many from the displaced communities and others from the host community. Shelters provided for internally displaced people in Somalia are often made from corrugated iron sheeting (CGI). Therefore it was a significant improvement for the displaced people in Burao to be able to move into proper brick structures with lockable doors, thereby providing safety and security for IDPs, especially women, children and other vulnerable groups including the elderly and people with disabilities.

– Today Deka Ahmed Mahamad (20) could finally move into her own home for the first time in her life. NRC’s regional representative Hassan Khaire and community mobilizer Asia Addami Muse were pleased to celebrate with Deka and other residents. Photo: NRC/Astrid Sehl.

The project is funded by the Japanese government through UNHCR. The Somaliland Government provided sand, water, labourers and security for the materials on site. It is the first time that the Somaliland authorities have provided direct financial support to a shelter project while the local Burao authorities donated the land where every family has received their own title deeds. ECHO funded the latrine construction in the settlement.

The Aden Suleiman settlement is home to over 4,300 people, while the overall Togheer region hosts over 26,000 people formally displaced by conflict. This project represents only the beginning of what is hoped to be more permanent shelter projects across Somaliland. In general, it is very difficult to access land for the displaced in Somalia. Also, IDPs are often forced to pay fees to private landlords, with the risk of being evicted to new settlements without any service provision.

“These shelters will change the lives of those receiving them,” said Ayaki Ito, UNHCR Deputy Representative for Somalia.

“NRC is very pleased with the result of the first 50 shelters, made possible through a collaborative effort. We hope to continue the strong cooperation with the Government of Somaliland and the authorities of Burao to support more displaced people with permanent solutions,” said Hassan Khaire, NRC Regional Director.

“The cooperation of the Burao local authorities in the success of this project is really encouraging because it means more security in life for the displaced people. Japan will continue to provide as much humanitarian assistance as we can,” said Mr. Yoichiro Yamada, Deputy Head of Mission of the Embassy of Japan.

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