Somaliland says thanks to New Zealanders

Date: 04/11/09
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Somaliland says thanks to New Zealanders


Along with the rains smiles have returned to the people of drought-stricken *Somaliland. Although the water emergency is not quite over, some villages have received life-giving rain. Kiwis have played a part in literally saving the lives of many of the vulnerable who would have died without the water and the people of Somaliland have showed their appreciation.  

Since May, TEAR Fund through its partner Medair have trucked about 3 million litres of water saving the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in Somaliland in 48 villages in southern Togdheer region.

Once this emergency phase passes, Medair will continue with critical health, nutrition, and water and sanitation activities in the region and are seeking funding to repair  broken-down community berkads (water tanks) so that people will be able to collect and store more water when rain is scarce.

“Medair has saved many lives since they started the water trucking in this region," said Abdirisak Mohamed Ajep, Director of Water in Togdheer region. "We have informed the president of Somaliland what Medair has done, and he has thanked the donor TEAR Fund who funded the emergency project.
"In addition, my people in Togdheer have asked me to give Medair a certificate of appreciation to express gratitude for the live-saving water which has kept many people alive today."

“We thank Medair and the donor who has given this money because we were preparing to move, since we could no longer stay here and wait for death," said a grateful Mohamed Abdi Farah. "We were like a woman suffering in the pain of labour with no midwife to help, and Medair came just before the child died. Long live Medair and the donor.”

After an extensive assessment process in 2007, Medair with funding from TEAR Fund NZ launched a new integrated Health Services and Water and Sanitation programme in Somalia/Somaliland in March 2008 to respond to the high level of need of the vulnerable population. Our programmes focus on rural areas where conflict- or disaster-affected populations have not received sufficient humanitarian assistance, or where current humanitarian capacity is insufficient to address the most critical needs. Medair works through local partners to build the technical and management capacity of local NGOs, health workers, and national staff.

*Somaliland declared itself independent from Somalia in 1991. Their independence has not been recognised by the international community.

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