Distribution Locations: Belethawa town, Beletamin, Camp Idan, Malkariyey, Gawido, Odaa and Qansaxley
HIRDA and its partners in Somalia’s Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) cluster, have distributed hygiene kits to 2,500 households in Belethawa district in response to COVID-19 Pandemic, a dusty border town sandwiched between Somalia and Kenya. Belethawa is destination for internally displaced persons (IDPs) fleeing conflict and returnees from Daadab refugee camp in Kenya.
Each hygiene kit included a bucket, a jerry can, bar of soaps and water purification tablets. The distribution followed by the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic which has affected the whole world and the speed at which it is spreading.
One in every ten Somali children currently dies before the age of one due to acute watery diarrhea (AWD) and malnutrition as a result of AWD are the major causes. In overcrowded IDP settlements, there is limited access to safe and clean water. The number of latrines is rarely sufficient and this often leads to open defecation and faecal contamination of nearby river and drinking water and the worst pandemic disease in the world corona-virus effect which has triggered the whole world.
Distribution of hygiene kits in 2 IDPs camps and Five villages in Belethawa district – these IDPs have migrated from their original settlement due to different reasons and they were affected both Natural and Man-made disasters. Natural disaster includes: Draughts, Low rainfall and floods which caused them to loss their livelihoods including animals and farms.
Man-made disaster includes: conflicts, Torture, child-soldering, intimidation and forcefully taken their animals, the ongoing political instability in Belethawa district.
WASH cluster through HIRDAhave partnered so as to distribute hygiene kits during these trying moment of the COVID-19 pandemic, since most of the beneficiaries could not afford to buy soaps for hand washing.
The Selection criteria for the hygiene distribution for the IDPs and villages include:
- Large Households families
- Elderly and chronic ones
- Pregnant and Lactating Mothers
- The needy
- Newly arrived families at the IDPs
- Evicted families
- Divorced (Female headed H/Hs)
During the selection village leaders and camp leaders were involved in order to reach the most vulnerable Households and HIRDA staffs were confirming the real situation of every individual in order to reach the right person/IDP.
After selection/Registration M and E/ Accountability Department have done confirmation and assurance of the selected/registered beneficiaries.
Contents of the Hygiene kits include:
|1||Aqua tab||500,000 tablets||32 Cartons|
|2||Chloro-floc||200,000 tablets||200 cartons|
|3||Bar soaps||14,350 Bars||574 cartons|
|4||Buckets||1,000 buckets||50 sacs|
|5||Chlorine drum for disinfections||7 drums||drums|
On 18th-23rd April 2020, Community mobilization was done to all the target villages and IDP camps. HIRDA community mobilization staffs have called the beneficiaries and camp leaders to come for the kits collection and they were informing the contents of the kits.
During the distribution the staffs were assigned to different roles and responsibilities which include:
- Calling the beneficiaries and putting them in queue one meter apart.
- Updating the beneficiaries’ contents of the kits
- Photo-taking to show the distribution has taken place for accountability purpose
- Complain desk– assuring to show how to proceed for kits collection from one-point-to another
- Helping the vulnerable, Elderly and disable ones to collect the kits
- Supervision of the entire distribution point and crowd control
All the 2,500 beneficiaries turned up for kits collection and they received there share
Fatuma Ali Ahmed is a 53-year-old grandmother who has lived in Camp Idan IDP settlement with her grandchildren for only 3 months. She said that she had moved from Godondawa due to insecurity and the threat of starvation.
“We risked being caught in the military and rebel cross-fire and were scared. We fled from our homes and travelled a long journey on foot, carrying only as much weight as our backs could carry,” she said.
“We arrived at Camp Idan IDP settlement and found that they did not have a sufficient number of water storage containers, they had an insufficient supply of safe and clean water, and they had broken sanitation facilities. But thanks to the hygiene kits we have been given today, we now have access to safe and clean water, jerry cans to store it in and water treatment tablets,” she said.
Hygiene promotion was an integral part of the distribution of the hygiene kits. HIRDA and its partners shared information on the use of the water treatment tablets, cleaning of water storage containers, hand washing at critical times, food hygiene, and proper use of sanitation facilities.
Challenges during registration/Distribution
- Unregistered beneficiaries attended at the distribution points and staff were taking more time to make them understand this is a registered beneficiary kits
- During the distribution period, climate was not friendly and it was a sunny day.
- Large beneficiaries turned for kits collection in during the first day which made the queue long which was quite difficult to have the social distance recommended
- Beneficiaries requested items should be added mattress and thermos flasks which they are also needed
- More families should be reached with these hygiene kits especially during this period of the corona-virus pandemic
- Transportation fee should be added for the most vulnerable ones who cannot afford private transportation charges.
Finally Community appreciated the generosity of the WASH cluster for putting smile on their faces during this trying moment of COVID-19 pandemic.