New school, community centre and sanitation facilities built in IDP settlement in Mogadishu through cash for work scheme

Up to 300 people from an IDP (Internally Displaced Persons) community in Kaxda, Mogadishu, were employed under a cash for work scheme, run by NGO Somali Innovation Development Organisation (SIDO) in partnership with UNDP,  which built a new school with four classrooms,  a community hall, 27 new toilets and six water kiosks. Each community member who took part received a daily income which some want to use to start small enterprises.

The cash for work scheme was run under RE-INTEG, a EU-funded project which works to improve the lives, rights and employment opportunities of people living in IDP settlements in Mogadishu.

Khadija Mahaday is 51 and a widow - she lives with her 6 children in the settlement. Her daughter has taken part in the cash for work scheme. Khadija suffers from a disability but says she can now access the sanitation facilities without any difficulty, and that the hygiene in the camp has greatly improved. She hopes she can use the money her daughter has earned to buy basic necessities as well as school materials for her grandchildren, and to use the rest to make more income. “I hope to start a small business, like selling food items and merchandise on streets,” she said.

Markabo Ali, 48, is also a resident of the settlement. She says now they have a clean environment and she can use the money she has earned to pay for food and to buy a bicycle to sell items in the community. “I want to thank SIDO, UNDP and European Union for restoring sanitation in the camp and making it possible for our children to have the opportunity to go to school,” she said.

The 30-day scheme also involved cleaning up debris and rubbish around the camp, leading to a safer environment for the community, and training community members on long-term hygiene and sanitation upkeep.

Ahmed Omar Osman, 45, is one of the participants in the scheme who was also trained on maintenance of the new facilities, as well as on the importance of keeping good sanitation in the settlement. He says the project has brought a lot of benefit to the community.

“We have not had this type of project before, where people both receive help and earn money, at the same time. Now there is this beautiful school, the community hall where we shall be holding our meetings and the new toilets,” he said.  He said he will use the money he earned to visit his relatives whom he had become separated from as a result of conflict in their region. “I will also send money to my daughter who lives in Baidoa to take care of her children,” Ahmed said.

Hear more about the scheme in the video above from our NGO partner, SIDO.

RE-INTEG has the general objective of facilitating and supporting durable solutions for IDPs and Returnees in Mogadishu, including improving their living conditions through the establishment of governance systems, increased Housing, Land and Property Rights and social, economic and political inclusion.

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Khadija Mahaday sits outside her accommodation in the IDP Settlement in Kaxda, Mogadishu
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Markabo Ali, 48, speaks about the cash for work scheme she took part in, in the IDP settlement, Kaxda, Mogadishu

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