The road to bountiful - The story of Fadumo Mohamoud

Published June 29, 2015 by Deqa Saleh

Fadumo (in yelllow) selling vegetables to a customer in the marketFadumo (in yelllow) selling vegetables to a customer in the market

Fadumo greets another customer with a smile as she tends to their request – be it vegetables or other non-food items. She’s in her element as she runs her business in the town of Badhan Somalia. Using the USD 80 she received from the Social Safety Nets Phase II project, she was able to save some money and expand her business. In addition to selling vegetables, Fadumo now sells clothes, soap, and other household items.

Fadumo Mohamoud and her family migrated from Markad village – part of the Golis Mountain cluster – to Badhan 10 years ago. They had a small rain fed farm but after a decrease in crop production due to recurrent droughts and poor rainfall, they were forced to make a tough decision.  

“We decided to split the family and seek other opportunities in Badhan. We couldn’t afford much with the little income we earned from the farm.”

Fadumo’s husband stayed behind to maintain the farm. They intended to make improvements on the farm with some additional money from a job Fadumo hoped to get in Badhan.

Fadumo was soon able to sell small amounts of their farm produce from a kiosk inside Badhan market. However, her family suffered a setback when her husband fell ill and was forced to stop work on their farm. Fadumo then became the sole breadwinner for their family. As she could no longer sell her own produce, she started selling 3-5kg worth of produce belonging to other suppliers for a profit to keep her business running.

“My children were only getting one meal a day at that point and couldn’t even drink clean water. We were using water from the local well which is not protected but accessible to all. We also had to keep moving houses because I couldn’t pay rent on time. Constantly moving a big family was a nightmare,” Said Fadumo.

Fadumo heard about the SSNII project when one of the neighborhood leaders approached her as he knew about her living situation. She fulfilled the selection criteria as she came from a vulnerable household with no assets. She has been receiving the money for the last 18 months.

“My family is more stable. We’re not moving house much because I’m paying rent on time which is better for the kids.  I just enrolled two of them at the local school. Mohamed should be starting standard six and Halimo standard five. We’re also eating more meals and can afford to get clean water. I’m hoping that once the project is completed, we’ll be able to rely completely on the money I’m earning from the kiosk. We’re getting there slowly.”