Farhiyo Adds to Her Livelihood Options-Building Resilience in Somalia

Published July 1, 2016 by Kowthar Hassan Shaffat


farhiyoMrs Farhiyo in her small shop which she started using her savings from the cash tranfers she received. © Adeso


Mrs Farhiyo Abdi Bulle resides in Bulakutur village of Dhobley town, in Lower Juba-Somalia. She is a mother of four and a beneficiary of the Cash Assistant and Recovery Support Project (CARSP) funded by USAID and implemented by Adeso. Using six successive payments from CARSP, Mrs Farhiyo opened up a small business, and also purchased some goats.

Together with her husband, Farhiyo decided to change their livelihood from agro-pastoralism to urban-pastoralism, to improve their economic prospects and build their own resilience to future shocks.

Mrs Farhiyo saved $300 and opened up a small kiosk in her home since she could not afford a rented shop in the market, and she did not want her young kids to feel the absence of their mother. She also managed to purchase two goats which have now got young ones. Mrs Farhiyo is now a business woman and a pastoralist. Her business at home is doing well and she makes an income of $10 per day which is equivalent to 230,000 SoSh. She uses her daily income to meet her family’s needs and top up her business. Her goats provide her family with milk, which is essential for the children’s growth.

Before the project's intervention, Mrs. Farhiyo and her family lived as agro-pastoralists. When the Alshabab militia took control of Kismayo district and its surroundings, Farhiyo’s family was forced to donate some of their farming land and give some of their livestock to militia. 

The family could not meet the demands of the extremist group, and so the militia took the family’s farm and livestock forcefully. In the process, Farhiyo’s mother was injured and lost her hand. The family then moved from Kismayo to Dhobley for safety and security. Farhiyo’s parents and siblings crossed the Somali-Kenya border and entered Dadaab Refugee Camp, while she remained behind, together with her husband and children.

Life was difficult for them as they did not have any source of income, shelter and other basic needs. Her husband went to a garage with the intention of learning to become a driver so that he might meet his family’s needs.

Her husband learned how to drive and now has a source of income with which to support his family. The family received six payments of US$110 over six months. They saved that money, bought a plot and build a house with it. Mrs Farhiyo is still very much encouraged and determined to sustain her family’s resilience.

“People should not stick to a single livelihood type. They should learn how to acquire and develop new livelihood types,” she said. “Adeso’s cash interventions came at the right time and hit the target because there were many people who were affected by the drought and unrest,” she added.