Putting the Community First in Meeladeen village

Published December 21, 2015 by Muna Ali .M

community meetingMeeting attendees convening under a tree in Meeladeen village, 6 October 2015, Bari Region, Somalia

 

AT ADESO, COMMUNITIES ARE AT THE HEART OF EVERYTHING THAT WE DO, SO IT SHOULD COME AS NO SURPRISE THAT BEFORE IMPLEMENTING ANY PROJECT ACTIVITIES, WE CONSULT WITH COMMUNITY MEMBERS. 

On 6 October 2015, the ‘Your Environment is Your Life’ team organized a public community consultation with the people of Meeladeen village, to discuss the rehabilitation of Baar Wiyer, one of the biggest and most crucial grazing lands in the area. 

Consultations such as these provide a platform for communities and other stakeholders to voice their concerns and contribute towards the planning and implementation of activities, in this case land rehabilitation and natural resource management. They also help ensure that the community owns the project from the very beginning. 

Using both manual labour and heavy machinery, a big diversion ditch will be excavated to direct water into the main grazing land in order to replenish it. This is expected to facilitate the re-emergence of extinct species of both plants and animals, and increase pasture. 

The first test of the impact of the intervention will come after rainfall, during the coming Dyr rainy season. Once the land is revived, it is estimated that 3,000 pastoral households will benefit from the impact of the diversion.

During the meeting, community members exchanged stories about changes in the land over the last two decades, and its adverse transformation into a barren and infertile area. They also shared their views on the causes of land degradation, which included recurring droughts and harmful environmental practices.

“The most valuable resource available for pastoralist is the land on which their livestock herd and graze. Therefore, the devastation of the land takes a grave toll on the livelihood of the pastoral community. We are looking forwards to working with this project to restorate our land, and we promise our full cooperation towards the realization of the objectives of the intervention,” explained Aden Ahmed, chair of the village environmental committee.

At the end of the meeting, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed with the community detailing the scope of the project, and the roles and responsibilities of the project team, the community, the local authorities and elders. The MOU also stipulates that upon completion of the intervention, its ownership and stewardship will be handed over to the community, which will take responsibility for the maintenance and the protection of the intervention in the future.

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