The Far Reaching Hand of Good Infrastructure

Published February 16, 2017 by Abdikarim Ali

 

Nasteho Mohamed in her market stall in Docol, MudugNasteho Mohamed in her market stall in Docol, Mudug

 

Like many other local kiosks and shops owners, Nasteho Mohamed’s business suffered a lot due to the lack of proper marketplace. The old marketplace in Docol village in Mudug was riddled with structural defects and suffered from poor sanitary conditions which eventually drove concerned customers away. As a result, profit dwindled and local business owners had to either close their businesses or start running them from home, which was what Nasteho did for some time. This, however, did not bear much fruit because there were not enough customers buying from her.

In 2016 the Docol marketplace was rehabilitated by the USAID-FFP funded Cash Assistance and Recovery Support Phase II (CARSPII) project. The marketplace was cleaned, the structural damage to the walls and floor which had manifested as cracks and had become infested with rodents and insects were rehabilitated. A roof made from corrugated iron was put in place, so that even when it rains business will still run.

Consequently, many community members, including Nasteho, have indirectly benefitted from the project. It has revived local business, as the market is now busy with people buying and selling various merchandise from household utensils, fruit, vegetables and grains to tea and fresh beverages.

The project has also provided cash transfers to some of the most vulnerable members of the community who were struggling to meet their essential needs and most of whom owed debts. With these cash transfers, they were able to repay their debts and access their basic food and non-food items

"Not only was I able to get a space in this market but the people who received the cash payments under the project are also my customers and were finally able to pay off their debt. Some of them were able to pay for whatever they purchased since they had cash in their hands," explains Nasteho.

With the profit she made from her business, Nasteho has gotten a bigger space to expand her merchandise. She now sells a wide range of household utensils, food items and colorful traditional clothes.

Her son and daughter are now helping her too. “By helping me, they’re keeping busy with no time to fall in the wrong crowd and get into trouble. They’re learning what it takes to run a business, be truly financially independent. And maybe they’ll be able to have their own business one day. ”

Cash Assistance and Recovery Support (CARSPII), was a USAID-FFP funded project that promoted food security and maintaining livelihoods of poor households through cash assistance and material inputs.