Cash distributions to help recover from crisis in Sool and Sanaag Regions

4.6 million people remain in need of humanitarian WASH assistance in Somalia in 2021 with 2.5 million of them facing acute need of water and sanitation services. Poor performance of short rains caused water shortages in Sool, Sanaag causing displacement of pastoral communities.

Of the people in need and highly vulnerable, a large percentage are children, women and the elderly, who critically lack access to clean water and are acutely at risk of gender-related violence and high morbidity and mortality due to water-borne disease outbreaks. Many households lack access to adequate sanitation leading to frequent open defecation while safety of people, particularly women and children to access latrines and water points remains a serious concern and a serious risk for exposure to violence.

The region had been encountering fluctuating complex humanitarian situations (droughts and consequent evictions and conflict clashes) with the further outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic that had been causing the gradual establishment of IDPs in various regions in the country.

Aisha Ahmed, a long practicing pastoralist with herds of camel and cattle in the Sanaag region, was severely affected by the famous drought “SIMA”, which devoured her family’s livestock assets in 2015 and sought humanitarian services support in the IDP site where ACTED works.

Supporting livelihood needs of pastoral communities

ACTED has been assisting in this settlement over the last four years. During this USAID-BHA integrated project economic recovery and market system activities were implemented in Harkadera, targeting 490 household beneficiaries.

Aisha Ahmed’s family depends on the father, he is the one who brings the income in the household. The father used to work on a wheelbarrow in Badhan market . He was let go after economic crises started to rise as a consequence of drought and COVID-19.

Aisha Ahmed said, “during the prosperous time my husband used to work a lot as people would shop and used to get loads to transport for, he used to manage average labour earn of USD 5. Unfortunately, drought and COVID-19 hit the source of the income such as livestock of the populations and physical stock of the enterprises. Our breadwinner struggled to earn USD 1 a day as there was a complete shut of businesses and high inability of the population to go shopping”.

“ Before ACTED’s intervention, my family had to survive by eating less food, cooking meals for only the children below ten years, seeking food from neighbours and relatives inflicting on our dignity, and sometimes cause double embarrassment as they also may not be able to support us.”

After benefiting from ACTED- cash for work activities where beneficiaries completed the rehabilitation of various community assets such as; roads, garbage pits and river embankment. Through this cash program, access to food and the opportunity to resume back to normal lives as we had been relieved from the worries of lack of food and the disgrace of begging to our peers and relative for donations.


“The cash intervention had given us the satisfaction of having our living status improved in the settlement. The family has benefited from the community assets established and rehabilitated, which includes a public disposal site, a water pan, flood barrier embankment and road feeder. Acted was able to respond to the community’s needs with the support of USAID.