Using Cash to Revitalize Livelihoods

Published May 28, 2018 by Muna Ali

Faduma showing her daughter how to weave, March 2018


Many of those who left their homes after they lost their livelihoods in pastoralism do not know if they will ever resume their traditional life again.  For many like Faduma Salah Ali who migrated from Sool region to Gebi Valley in Sanaag, they have run out of options and do not know how to make a living. These days Faduma finds some comfort in weaving straw mats, a traditional craft that women in her family have passed down from one generation to the next. As her hands are slowly moving putting one straw over the other she shows her daughter beside her how to create the perfect mat.

Inside their home, the walls are decorated with previously completed mats that Faduma has not been able to sell since 2016. “People are leaving their homes, and migrating to other places to survive this vicious drought. Nobody is going to buy mats and other crafts, they don’t even have money to buy food and water,” she explained.

Faduma’s family has 50 goats left which they have entrusted with some relatives in Nugaal region, a region which received some rain back in 2017. She hopes that if their remaining livestock can make it until the Gu’ rainy season, there might be hope for the family to resume their traditional way of life.   

In 2017, Adeso partnered with USAID/FFP to implement a Cash Assistance Project for Somalia (CAPS), aims to respond to humanitarian crisis that resulted from an encroaching drought which led to the failure of crop production and massive livestock losses. The project reached 6,590 households (46,130 people) 2016-2018. Faduma is one of the beneficiaries who received 80 USD for a period of nine months. This cash helped her family with access to basic needs.

Even though Faduma’s family greatly benefited from the relief that the project provided, they are still at risk. Food insecurity and water shortages are still major issues with which the drought-affected population in Sanaag region grapple, mainly due to the lack of properly functioning water sources and water storage facilities. Overall, debt levels are increasing and a lack of access to basic services continues to affect the lives of those hit by the drought.

Faduma has not received assistance for almost 4 months putting her family in an insecure position yet again. Faduma expressed a desire to have Adeso return to the Gebi Valley area.  She also would like to see Cash Assistance implemented again and for a longer period of time to allow families like her, to survive the drought and recover from its impact.