Rehabilitation of a Key Road Adds to Community’s Resilience in Somalia

Published January 29, 2016 by Abdulatif Abby

For a number of years, Hassan Salad and the local community in Dhoobley, somalia, SHARED A SIMILAR CONCERNHe is a daily user of the Jidka Seerka road, a very tight lane which acts as a key lifeline for the inhabitants of Lower Juba.

The narrow road sits between a thicket of bush and trees, making it impossible for two vehicles to pass one another. When using the road, local inhabitants and their livestock jostle over space. 
Hassan Salad, an administrator in a very small village 12 km north of Dhoobley, uses the road on a daily basis. As his village is too small to provide basic services, he and other residents have the option of traveling regularly to Dhoobley using this road or crossing the border into Kenya. 
In use since the colonial era, the Jidka Seerka Road is not only strategically important as a gateway between different parts of Southern Somalia, but it also acts as a border line between Kenya and Somalia. 
“I've been using this road for several years now. It used to be distressed, and did not have enough space for vehicles to pass. You could only see it from a short distance,” explained Hassan. “The road was full of trees, and sometimes car accidents would happen. It’s not the case now. It’s more convenient and safer.”
Things got even worse during the rainy season, as the whole road would be left with potholes. “If the car, by any chance, slipped the lane, it would hit a tree trim,” said Hassan. 

Empowering Youth 

Recently, Adeso's project in Lower Juba engaged casual laborers from the local community to work on clearing and expanding the road in order to ease the burden on commuters and improve trade. 
“Our task was to clear trees up to 12 km along the road,” explains Abdullahi Dhuulle, supervisor of the 30 casual laborers that worked expanding the road. “Each day we would clear an area 300 meters long and five meters wide. We did the work on the Somalia side of the road.” 
The road expansion work provided a lifeline for Abdullahi and his group. The small wages they received acted as a temporary source of employment and helped them support their families.  
“Apart from the wages we got as workers, we’re happy that this is something that will add to the sustainability of our community. The road will stay with us forever. It’s a double benefit, you see!” added Abdullahi.
Adeso In partnership with the Somalia Stability Fund is committed to helping communities develop life skills and becoming more resilient.